By Corinne Wnek
By the time I have listened to the morning news and had a good read of the newspaper, it’s a wonder that I can venture out of the house and make my way to work. I feel how the Wicked Witch of the West must have felt when she first descended on Oz and was warned by Glenda that a house could drop on her, too. Earthquakes, tsunamis, Muslims raging against their machine, nuclear meltdowns, political uprisings and union downsizings. Never mind Oz. What on Earth is going on?
I can’t remember a time when ordinary life was so fearful. Well, maybe for a little while when the Son of Sam killer was still at large. Every woman in the tri-state area really was terrified to go outdoors alone after dinner. But even with that, you could at least understand that it was insanity lurking in the shadows.
It’s a lot tougher to understand why a tsunami from nowhere takes out several hundred people at one moment in time. Or why there seems to be war declared on the common working man. Or why some countries can’t get a grip on cholera and other diseases that we here in the United States got rid of decades ago. Or how ruthless dictators can kill their own people.
There’s a line in the first Godfather movie that might offer an explanation as we try to understand the recent violence, in all its forms, against humanity. Clemenza is asked by Michael Corleone, who is about to kill both a corrupt police chief and a head of a rival family, how bad he thinks the fallout from the murders will be. “Pretty damn bad”, Clemenza replies. “But that’s alright because these things gotta happen every five or ten years. It helps get out all the bad blood.” I guess that’s how he tried to understand senseless events. It was a ‘cleansing’ of sorts.
Perhaps nature is warning us about something, like maybe Al Gore was right about that global warming stuff and we had better start taking better care of the planet. And are we missing signals to alert us that people in countries like Egypt and Libya are tired of living without hope for a better future? But it also strikes me that these rebels are not unlike the Americans of the revolutionary war days who also rebelled against a tyrant who lived like a king. And we all know how that turned out.
Without question, the world is a much smaller place these days. We can’t help but be affected by the devastating tragedies suffered by others all over the world when their stories come right into our living rooms every night and day. Sometimes, all we can offer is prayer and hope for their recovery to a life of some kind of ‘new normal’. Sometimes that’s enough.
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