Winning Words 12/27/12
“There's a view in this country that everybody's going through what they're going through for the first time.” (Cokie Roberts) Today is Cokie’s birthday. She’s one of my favorite NPR commentators. My grandchildren ask, “What was it like living in The Great Depression?” I tell them that it was hard, but was made easier, because we knew others faced similar problems. Life is easier when we practice empathy. ;-) Jack
FROM DR PAUL IN MICHIGAN: I really like Cokie Roberts, too. She seems to always have such a wise perspective on complicated events. Another person who I've grown to really like is Matt Dowd. I've watched him become a voice of reason from once being purely partisan. It's interesting reading, watching, and observing how different people view the same event and have wise and differing perspectives. ////FROM JACK: Altho I know the name of Matt Dowd, I was led to find out more about him, including the fact that he was born in Detroit and played an active role as an advisor to Bush/Cheney. Matt is not afraid to change his mind when a situation warrants it. We need more people like that.
FROM HONEST JOHN IN MICHIGAN: Do you mean that others have had to put up with Jack Freed? Just kidding.////FROM JACK: Even tho it's sometimes hard for East Moliners to be empathetic with Moliners, I appreciate your willingness to give it a try.
FROM WALMART REV: The longer we live . . . the more evident it becomes . . . I've always enjoyed listening to her commentary as well.////FROM JACK: Empathy is different from sympathy.
FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: Did you read the fine book on marriage Cokie and her husband wrote? Beautiful.////FROM JACK: I guess I'll have to put "Our Haggadah" on my reading list. Newly married couples have many adjustments to make. Couples who come from different faith backgrounds could benefit from the advice given by Cokie and her husband.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I wonder if Americans want to go through stuff for the first time. Always changing course, restless, never satisfied, never really at home. Maybe even having adversity is somehow welcomed because it gives us a chance to try solving the problem "for the first time". I like the "Greening of Detroit" grass-roots movement and then found out about Pinkerton in the 1830's economic hardship and his urban gardening solution and then the Victory Gardens during World War II and was thinking that maybe we do these things and then, soon as times get better again, we stop work on that earlier vision. Maybe we Americans like change more than we do sustainable living. People who believe they are going through things for the first time I suppose aren't bored with it all.////FROM JACK: Maybe it's just a mind game. I like the Bible verse: "Have this mind in you which also was in Christ Jesus."
FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Always wonderful thoughts. I like Cokie too – great voice and presentation. My mom says similar things about the depression and the war. That folks did not mind sacrificing and rationing because there was a spirit that everyone was in this together. Sometimes I think prosperity has not been the best thing for our nation. In my 50 years I’ve seen the rich become much richer and the poor become much more obvious….that disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots” does not represent the spirit of capitalism or motivate folks to get ahead. It seems to make them despair instead…dire views on this snowy morning.////FROM JACK: The middle-class provided a bridge between the rich and the poor. Whenever a bridge is taken away, a way of communicating (and understanding) the other side is gone. That seems to have happened in Congress, too.////BBC: Beautifully stated. Your words are winning ones – you don’t even need to quote someone else////JACK: The quotes have a way of stimulating my thoughts. The interaction with people does that, too.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: History is just repeating itself. Hopefully, people will help each other as they did before. The neighbors had to help us today as our snowblower broke and last night Gary fell down the steps. He's sore but fine. Our neighbors are a blessing!////FROM JACK: There's an old saying, "To have a friend, be a friend." I guess that goes for neighbors, too.