Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Points of View

How we see things depends quite a bit on our vantage point. The same circumstances can make us feel very differently depending on who we are and how we see ourselves in relations to everyone else.
There's the man you might have read about, for instance, in North Carolina whose physical problems just became to great to bear. Without a job, he concocted a plan, which you and I might think of as drastic, in order to get medical treatment. He walked into a local bank, handed a teller a note demanding $1, then took a seat to await police. They came, he was arrested and his physical treatment soon began - in jail. "Only in America"? Maybe.
There's Serena Williams, trying to come back from almost a year of tough physical problems of her own. Her comeback effort began today in the 1st round of Wimbledon today, which she won. Then, in a rare emotional moment, she broke down in tears describing her last year to the tennis press. I would think this would make her a more sympathetic figure, though she's young enough to still make mistakes that make her less appealing. I wish her well.
Suppose you're one of the winners in life's lottery, whose only job is to monitor the family fortune earned some time back. Suppose it's been drilled into your pampered head that you should only vote your pocket book, and you always have. Now you have your favorite for the next presidential election, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, who says that as president she will end long term capital gains taxes. Who makes up for this major loss to the U.S. Treasury? That would be, ah, everyone else. Yes, the rich have suffered enough.
John Huntsman, Jr., former GOP governor of Utah and, until recently, our ambassador to China, is now running for his old boss's job, president. He's known as a thoughtful problem-solving type who gets along well with those from the other political side. His worst nightmare is no doubt the decision facing him when the campaign staffers deliver the news that he will have to get meaner on the daily stump, and that there must be no words in speeches longer than three syllables in order to fit the Party's current demographic. Of course, he always has the option of retiring to the life of the coupon-clipping rich described above. And it won't cost much to endorse Bachmann, right?
Finally, there's the viewpoint of our three oldest (11, 9 and 6 years old) granddaughters, who came from Iowa to visit for a couple of weeks, ending just yesterday. Let's hope that their view is: Grandma and Grandma are kind of old, but they took us to the beach, the zoo, to see the big trees and to the harbor. Grandpa even tried to teach us tennis. We got to peddle the little surrey in one town, and watched Grandpa and his friends do some stories and poems, which was funny. Someday, we'll go back, hopefully before we become insufferable adolescents.


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