When I was a kid my cousins would occasionally let me tag along on their ski trips to the slopes of New England. I soon earned the dubious sobriquet of “PP” Kenny. More times than I care to remember, they’d check on the ski conditions mid-week and, if they were good, make plans for the weekend. If I said I’d go, it would rain on Friday morning. The slopes would become ice-covered overnight. When we’d arrive on Saturday, the condition would be PP – in plain English: Piss Poor.
Seems as if these last year’s conditions out there in the world have given us some real PP conditions: COVID, bogus election claims, divisive politics, and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Talk about skiing on ice! Here’s my disclaimer – ain’t none of these things got anything to do with me.
But I’m a lot older now and foolish enough to try to find a silver lining (well perhaps a brass one) in all of this. And to help me along I came up with another read on PP – Perspective, and Perseverance.
Examine one problem at a time. Don’t try to come up with an answer in one breath. Ask yourself if there’s perhaps one corner you can address at the present moment. For COVID, maybe all you can do is make sure you and those close to you get vaccinated and wear masks when out in public. Don’t take unnecessary risks. And don’t inject bleach. It may not be great fun but being alive beats being hooked up in an ICU ward.
Worried about our democracy? You should be. Register to vote; help others register. Attend meetings and ask tough questions. And remember, we’re sailing on the same ship. Others may have a different perspective than you. Listen to them and they may listen to you. We should all be on the lookout for icebergs.
Keep an open heart and mind. Commit random acts of kindness. And as always, remember to smile and pick up litter.
As for the war – pray for both sides. People are dying needlessly. If you can afford to donate to charities do so and encourage others to join you. Consider the plight of refugees. It’s easy to find sympathy when the juggernaut of Russian troops crosses a border and destroyed cities. But it’s not any different when drug cartels and gangs threaten people and their families in Central and South America. Strive to be inclusive with your compassion. Be color and language-neutral. It’s easier and walls imprison people on both sides.
And persevere. Don’t give up. You’re not alone. We’re all fighting the good battle. I still remember the Pledge of Allegiance from when I was a kid more than 70 years ago. I checked online. The Pledge still concludes with these words: indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
These words include everyone! I’ll persevere and hope you’ll join me.