“Stop Children What’s that Sound?-Traveling with Forrest Gump

” Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid”

Song by Stephen Stills

Single released by Buffalo Springfield in 1966

This is the song on The Forrest Gump soundtrack that made me tear up.

“There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong”

53 years later and turmoil continues. I’m more afraid because I have grandchild now. We still have divisions but they seem to becoming worse as time goes on. We have angry conflicts within groups and with other nations and increasing incidents of extreme weather events. Income inequality is growing and so is nastiness and name calling. Drug and alcohol use is skyrocketing and there is an uptick in suicides. Mass shootings in schools, places of worship, and in the workplace are are becoming more and more common.

“There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear”

We are evolving as a species in the realms of technology and innovation but there are deeply embedded quirks in our nature that haven’t advanced since our cave days. Does the “fight and flight” trigger continue to make us wary of those around us, especially those who are different? Is self preservation and self interest overriding empathy? Do we accumulate money not only to enjoy material things but to have power, dominance, and superiority over others?

I’m not absolved from this. I have done my share of bad things as a human being. But in this last chapter of my life, I’m searching to find the best in myself and in our species. I’m encouraged by those through history who believed “that injustice to one is injustice to all.” I pray that we can work together to guarantee that our common destiny is one filled with positive energy and purpose. This is my hope, especially for my grandkids.

“Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down”

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A Menopausal Odyssey, Day 10

July 2, 2001


I caught the ferry to Mackinac Island and spent the day in Mackinaw, a quaint place where no cars are allowed. The amatuer sociologist in me was quick to notice the three social classes evident in this resort town. An upper class used to Western style indulgence and conspicuous consumption.  A middle class which has made me a person who is kept out of  The Grand Hotel because I won’t  pay the $10 just to look around. And the third class, Jamaicans who are the chambermaids, waiters, waitresses, and cleaners of the island.  Middle class and the service class were able to come together when I returned to the mainland and was able to talk to the Jamaicans at The Family Dollar where we both shop.  I asked them where they were from and they told me they come back to the island every summer to find employment. I didn’t ask them what they made and silently hoped they weren’t being taken advantage of.

Am I a selfish person to have what I want when others have to struggle for what they need? Am I willing to give what I have to others? I think back to Joni Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now”.  I gain truth but I don’t know what to do with it.   Am I just a coward? Maybe life is easier when you have no choices.  Adversity pares life down to one issue, survival.

Survival of the fittest? I have read about Darwin. Survival of the fittest has nothing to do with dominance. It all has to do with adaptability, dealing with change, switching gears. I’m no longer a young woman. I have to find out what that means or maybe figure out how to better live my life as a mature person. I’m still playing by old rules and the rules have changed.

So many things to think about but I am learning things on this trip. I’m not so linked to the past as I have been on other trips and my present moments are huge. Maybe the future is no longer as big as it was when when I was younger but unknown possibilities are still out there. It’s kind of nice not knowing what is coming next.