I live on a small island, Key West, which has the highest daily temperature in America, but it is badly hot only in the summer. The rest of the year the weather is beyond any "paradise" I know. I wish it wasn't so urbanized though. Too much humanity for such a small island.
This morning, I decided to take a stroll to my local store for some cigs. On the way I was really enjoying the breeze, and the fact it was early, at least for Key West, around 10:00a.m., there were few of the teeming humanity out. All around were flags, proudly displayed, and I have to admit that I felt something I didn't really expect. . . A sense of community.
Then something happened to interfere with my good vibes, something that was a real bummer of an image, the immediate thought that flew to the front of my brain was. . . "America's Most Hypocritical Patriot."
The image was a SUV, with the driver heading toward a red light, talking on a cell phone, and the American flag proudly displayed top-center on the back of his 12-mpg worst-pollution-producing "family" vehicle on the road. Knowing how many of these environmentally destructive "status symbols" that are on the roads, and how many are being sold, I realized just how large of a segment of our America just simply doesn't get it.
The "retaliation" against the Afghanistan Taliban, and Osama Bin Laden, started yesterday, and I am deeply worried for our community. My American community, and the community of the world. I see "the will of God" spouted from both sides, I see so many complex and confused mind sets, I see patriotism and hypocrisy, I see hate and compassion, I see unrestrained bigotry and violence and understanding and tolerance in my community, and I see both a frightening future, and a hope that this rude awakening will bring reasoned justice, to the future of our shared community.
I felt a chill, in the warm tropical breeze, as I tried to hold onto that last hopeful thought - the rest of the way home.