Thursday, November 15, 2012

High-Low

Today wasn't one of my better days; it wasn't one of my worst either, but as is the tradition in the Hanson-Hunnicutt household I thought we'd play a little round of internet high-low.

"High-low" refers to an end-of-day round robin with whomever happens to be at the dinner table. The object is to recount the best part of your day: your "high," and the lowest part of your day: your "low." Walt adds another dimension in that he asks himself who he was at his best and who he was at his worst and then strives to do better the next day.

Walt has better Karma.

It's 5:28pm CST as I write this and so my day isn't over but I'm not reading anymore email tonight, I have a nice cold glass of white wine within reach and there's a new episode of Gray's Anatomy on at 8pm, so the evening's likely to end on a high note.

Both of my high-lows came from something I read on the internet today. Silly, I know, but I spend quite a bit of my free time researching dead relatives (genealogy) and I've really become quite proud of them, their passion and beliefs, and the lives they led. Even the rascals. 

Through time, on every ancestral continent, there have been many consistencies but none so pointed as conflict. I've watched from a generational distance as families, communities and countries merge then fragment and merge again like lungs breathing in and breathing out new boundaries; new rules for engagement and cooperative cohabitation. Change is good. Change is life.

My low today was reading a CNN report stating that at last count, 20 of our States have constituents who've initiated and signed petitions to secede from the Union. I would like to say that I don't understand their line of reasoning, but I'm afraid that I do. I just don't agree with it.

I needed a "high."

One of my favorite quotes was from John F. Kennedy when, in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961, he talked about making peace between the Soviets and the United States. It seemed appropriate. 

Five of my grandcestors fought in the war of 1812; one wore a red coat, the other 4 wore coon-skinned caps. Three fought on the same battle field and I thank my lucky stars that they couldn't shoot worth a hoot, or I wouldn't be here today. Six of my grandcestors were in the Civil War; most fought for the Confederates, but two fought on the Union side. 

I like the sound of that word: Union. Like marriage it denotes change, growth and compromise. Breathing in and out new boundaries; new rules for engagement and cooperative cohabitation.

Life.

So, thank you Mr. Kennedy for my happy thought tonight: for my "high."


[Exerpt from John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961]


"So let us begin anew — remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us..."

"...let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah — to "undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free."

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor  not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin."

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