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Posts Tagged ‘wars’

I was watching some news for a bit. I felt like being nauseous, and the news is usually the best way for me to accomplish that.

The last thing I looked at was the story of the disabled man being tied up and beaten in Chicago. One news reporter mentioned that if this case is “raised” to the level of a hate crime, the four attackers could face up to 30 years in prison. Most of you have probably seen the news report but here is a link to what happened.

Chicago beating

As I watched the video, and read the report, I wondered something about hate crimes. Is not “hate” the motivator behind all crimes? People love to jump on the “No Hate” band wagon for their favored group. But is one group any more important then another? Politicians fight and babble over gun control. We can take the gun out of someone’s hand, but until the hate is taken out of the man’s heart, there will be no change. If not a gun, then some other weapon.

So we as society have decided how much hate constitutes a hate crime. And what if I disagree with the measuring rod? Does that make me a hater? Am I as guilty as the attackers in the video if I don’t agree with someone?

You are by now thinking this post ridiculous. Maybe it is. Just seems to me that it is just fine for me to hate, as long as I hate the same things you do. Just don’t let my hate leave the boundaries set by society.

But wait…what if we lived in a world with no hate, no violence, no crime, etc. Oh wait, that would be called heaven. I’m not there yet, but watching the news often makes me wish I was.

 

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imagesCA1N0BXRI think one of the most disappointing things about growing up is when we outgrow our memories. Things that seemed so real and solid when we were younger, slowly melt away like morning mist when the sun rises.

My mother’s parents lived in a New England style Cape that was neither large or breathtakingly beautiful. In my mind I can still see every detail of that home. The granite slab for the front door step, each room right down to the furniture placement, worn spots in the kitchen linoleum, the smell of baking cookies and even the cracks in the old plaster walls and ceilings. I thought the home was beautiful surrounded by lilacs, bright orange day lilies and a huge chestnut tree in the front yard. And on the inside I would stare in awe at the antiques that were so different from my own home with the “lovely” 60’s decor of plaids, oranges, browns and shag carpeting. EEEKS!

But the childhood memory which filled me with a mixture of excitement and fear was the attic. Typical of most old New England homes, there were two rooms upstairs with an open area at the top of the stairs. Since my grandmother did not use the upstairs at all, there was no furniture and the rooms had fallen into disrepair due to neglect. The wallpaper was faded and peeling, bare wood floors and large jagged cracks across the ceilings. There were three small doors that I could creek open which allowed entrance along the length of the house behind the bedroom walls. The only light daring to invade the darkness filtered in through the cracks in the walls.

Upstairs in the attic, I could let my imagination run wild. I fought Indian wars, hid from pirates, hoarded my childhood treasures, and of course there were monsters to slay and the dreaded bogey man to hide from. Depending on the day, the weather, and my mood of the moment determined which adventure I would experience. All I had to do was open the attic door, walk up the narrow creaky stairs and I was no longer seven year old Ricky Huntress. I became hero’s of old and never suffered defeat to my foes.

untitledBut time marches on. My grandmother went into a nursing home and the attic sat empty of even my company. I think I was around 16 when I went with my parents to the house for the last time before it would be torn down. While they were cleaning out some last minute items from downstairs, I went into the attic. My heart raced as I walked up the stairs. And there I stood looking around. The rooms were smaller, the windows let in more light than I remembered, and the attic crawl spaces no longer seemed dark and unwelcoming. Everything seemed “practical” and the magic had left. In truth, the magic had not left the house, it had left me. The seven year old boy had grown up and was more interested in other pursuits than drafty old attics.

But deep inside there was an ache of loss. I walked back downstairs, leaving part of my childhood in grandma’s attic.

“Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,

Whose only play was what he found himself,

Summer or winter, and could play alone.”

Robert Frost – Birches

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