Tuesday, June 06, 2006

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught

As I returned from my recent trip to Rhode Island…the trip I affectionately refer to as “the trip from HE double toothpicks”…my trip had the perfect ending.

It was bad from beginning to end…with a brief interlude of four hours where things went seemingly well. Earlier I wrote a lengthy piece about this blessed trip…but I left off the bookend of my adventure.

Following two days in which obstacle and opposition came at me relentlessly…I was totally exhausted, drained and spent. It was all I could do to muster the strength to find my way to my car, load my luggage and head home.

With the car door still open, I prepared to turn on the ignition…I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a grandmother with her grandson in tow. It was not so much the sight of them caught my attention but instead the ugly words that spewed forth from her mouth.

She was stating loudly, not only her disagreement and opposition to my car’s bumper stickers…but also proclaimed, “Now that is SICK!” Not just once…but repeatedly and very loudly.

I have several bumper stickers on my car…any one of which she may have been voicing her opposition to. It could be either of my Bush bumper stickers left over from 2004. Or perhaps it was my Support the Troops bumper sticker.

But my money says it was the bumper sticker I had specially created. One that was intended to address those persons who are naïve…so much so that they think that persons who crash planes filled with human beings into buildings should be understood instead of defeated. People who think…that the terrorists made that horrific choice because they came from impoverished backgrounds. Persons who refused to call Al Zarkawi evil when he sawed off the head of a very living Nick Burg.

People who think the greater evil is war…and not Naziaism, Communism, Fascism or Totalitarianism...all of which left countless millions dead in their wake. Or better yet…they are in agreement with Al Gore who said that global warming poses the greatest threat these days.

So while this lady might believe that I am sick in thinking there comes a time when war is indeed an answer…I am no longer deluded by naiveté. I am not so naïve to deny true evil…and know that it must be defeated.

When I heard her words…I wanted to say, “Lady, after everything I’ve been through in the last two days…what you are saying means nothing.” But I was restrained and reminded myself that her ugly comments were more of a reflection on her, not me.

The sad thing was that her grandson was hearing her ugly words…and asked about what she was saying and why. What came to mind was the song from South Pacific “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught”.

Something about her attitude and words gave me the impression she wasn’t exactly walking a spirit of peace or tolerance.

As I drove away…I glanced at her car and saw her bumper sticker…a peace symbol.

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