Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The America I Live In



Today I went out to do a couple of errands, pick up some things at the grocery store and stop at the pharmacy. On the way there I passed a man by the street side with a sign: Please help. Veteran. It was a surprise because I haven’t seen too many people asking for help in this part of Connecticut.

On my way back home I pulled up to him. “Good afternoon, sir. I hope this helps.” I handed him a bill. He looked surprised. It was no more than I would pay for a six pack of beer. “Oh, thank you,” he said. “You’re welcome. And thank you for your service.” “You’re welcome. And God bless you.” I drove off.
 
I could smell the cigarette smoke on him. I can get that from forty paces. I couldn’t know if he would spend that money on booze or whatnot. I didn’t care. His government had shit on him and the enemy had shot at him, probably after being trained and funded by that same government. He could spend it on crack for all I cared.
 
There’s much division in this country. The so called Left and the so called Right hate each other. Speakers at universities, once stanchions of free speech and anti-war protests, are shouted down and their lectures cancelled, when we are not blaming foreign, evil governments for what are essentially our failings. Our own evil overlords are perfectly happy to keep us at each other’s throats or blaming the modern day Emmanuel Goldstein in the Kremlin. Don’t waste a good two minute hate, after all. Everyone knows he does bad things. Why? Because he’s evil! How do we know that he is evil? Because he does bad things! A nice and tidy circular package.
 
And in the meantime our republic sputters.
 
I don’t know that man’s history. Whether he was a shell shocked soldier, a con artist, or a thief. I didn’t care. He was someone asking for help. I give him some.

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