statue-of-liberty-1045266_1280It’s interesting how the term “What’s new?” has changed. It used to be a type of greeting, asking the receiver of those words how they were doing and inquiring of them hoping to learn what all was going on in their life.
Lately, it’s used as a more sarcastic response and as an answer, rather than as a question. It has come to mean more of an “I’m not surprised” retort. A way of saying some things just don’t go the way you want or better yet, “That’s just the way it is.”
Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, talks about how there is nothing new under the sun. We can try to be cutting edge, or stay one step ahead, but basically, we just repeat something that has, in all honesty, already been done before—in some sort of fashion.
This past week in America we held our presidential elections. At my age, I have now seen quite a few. One side always wins and one side always loses. What’s new about that? Nothing. What is a bit new these days is how people, today, handle the results.
I don’t recall destroying someone else’s property, shutting down freeways, beating someone up (who has the freedom to vote as they choose) or my professors canceling my tests or classes if my side didn’t win. Those were never options. At least, in my mind. For that matter, I don’t recall anyone else thinking or doing the same as I look back. Sure, I was upset and I prayed all the harder when my side lost, but it does feel a bit “new” to me when I see the changes in how we as a country currently respond.
What isn’t new is wanting to have our way. In the past, I think we tried to be mature Patriots and take the high road. We tried to be good sports. We were aware someone would not be the winner. Today, instead, we lecture people on how they should act and respond once the decision is made. But if the decision doesn’t meet to our liking, we don’t take our own advice. The message suddenly doesn’t apply when “our” side loses. At that point, it’s “game on!”
But is that actually “new?” Not really. Again, from the beginning of time, man has wanted his own way. You don’t have to teach a child to throw a tantrum when you say “no” or hold firm on an issue. It’s just human nature.
That’s the hard part. Fighting against, not each other, but the innate will and determination to get my own way —come you-know-what or high water.
I wish I would have learned much earlier in my life—that part about the what I expected of others, when the shoe was suddenly on the other foot, finding they would be expecting the same of me.
I guess some people learn quickly. I don’t think I truly did. But I am grateful for the opportunity for each new day to, perhaps, turn it around and begin anew.
At this point, I am asking those in my circle to pray for ourselves. To get it right in our own lives. And then, to pray for our country. Join me?
– S.
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