This I Believe

Ken - Jupiter, Florida
Entered on October 12, 2006

I believe I need a new pair of glasses. I lost the old pair that was made in the U.S.A. I looked everywhere for a new pair just like them, but they do not seem to exist. So, I settled for a pair made in a foreign place. With the old pair, I saw things differently. The things I see with the new pair, concerns me.

With the old pair, I saw police who were respected and called “sir”. Now, I see very little respect for those who are trying to keep us safe. Somehow, the word “pig” crept into our society and found a home. Now, I see a lot of contempt towards the very ones we will call when we need help.

With the new pair, I see mangled bodies, massive amounts of blood, and people screaming; all before nine o’clock on television. With the old pair, I saw Marshal Dillion shoot the outlaw, but never saw blood or watched him experience a slow agonizing death. Somehow, I knew he was dead without seeing all the nasty graphic details, and Dodge was a safer place.

With the old pair, I saw people who worked until they were sixty five and retired if they wanted to. Now, I see seventy-year-old single women working because they have to. They now receive social security payments that are next to nothing, just because they chose to raise their children.

With my new glasses, I see companies employing people part time, just so they can avoid paying benefits. The corporate executives say the company can not afford the costs anymore. All I see are corporate executives receiving millions of dollars even when they are fired. My old glasses saw employees with benefits, a retirement, and a gold watch at the end.

My old glasses saw insurance companies who actually paid valid claims. With my new glasses, I see insurance companies defaulting on claims, leaving areas, and raising premiums to unaffordable levels.

My new glasses also see a United Nations that makes resolution after resolution, but can not enforce any of them. One where open disrespect of nations’ leaders is tolerated. My old glasses saw a United Nations that respected leaders and worked together to restore or ensure peace.

My old glasses saw teenagers that drank a beer to get a buzz and never got to second base on a date. My new glasses see things very differently. Now, drugs are common even in the most rural areas, and hitting a home run on the first date is fairly common.

My new glasses see the disrespect and hatred other countries have towards the United States, and I wonder who will come to our aid when we need it. And, we will need it! My old glasses saw a day when the U.S was respected and viewed as a good influence on the world.

I liked my old glasses. I saw things differently when I had them. Everything was more colorful and bright. I am very concerned that I may never find another pair like them. Now, things look different and foreign to me. Looking through them, I see everything in more detail and clearer than ever before. Is it the glasses?

No, I believe it could be me!