by James Bates
I have to be honest. Growing up in the fifties my heroes were television cowboys who used guns and other firearms to solve their problems. There was no such thing as reasoned discussion among those guys. No way. Got a problem? Let's meet out in the street. Compromise? No one knew the meaning of the word. Violence was the norm.
I can name a number of politicians who come from that same era. They are egotistical men spewing hatred and malevolence with derisiveness ruling their every waking moment. It's sickening see, and it's apparent they never grew up past the fourth grade mentality prevalent in the boys back then.
Fortunately, most of us did. But that was long ago, and these days it's obvious many didn't - the deed was done and the die was cast. It's almost as if we've reverted back to those my way or the highway, uncompromising wild west days of my youth.
In her bedroom, my granddaughter and her friends play quietly with dolls and stuffed animals using their imaginations to create elaborate games usually based on what they observe in everyday life. I listen and hear as problems are solved by talking and reaching a common middle ground. When the girls argue, it's respectful. You can tell they'd rather solve whatever the issue is between them and keep playing together, than not, and end up alone. They play for hours like this. They're only seven years old. They're smart, compassionate and it's delightful being around them. I can't help but thinking...maybe there's hope for us yet.
About the author
Jim counts himself as a lucky man because he has his grandchildren in his life. His stories have appeared in CafeLit, The Writers' Cafe Magazine, A Million Ways, Cabinet of Heed and Paragraph Planet. You can also check out his blog to see more: www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.