The art of finding the high road in the dark
Friday was a dark day, suffused with anger and fear, while our country waited to hear if our government was going to shutdown. The news media fueled the frenzy with suggestions of what would happen if a compromise couldn’t be reached. Hundreds of thousands of people nationwide wondered and worried over the impact a shutdown would have on their lives and the lives of their families and friends.
The outlook was bleak here in our part of the world. Being part of a military community means that your life is connected through love, family, friendship and business to the soldiers stationed here. Most of us tend to feel fiercely protective about the men and women who serve to protect us in these unstable times. Most of us know and appreciate the many sacrifices that these soldiers and their families make for us. Most of us recognize how little these soldiers get paid to put their lives on the line in foreign countries far from home.
So when the soldiers were told that they would receive a half pay and then no pay, life looked very dark indeed. Everywhere, people were doing the math and coming up with an impossible situation. What kind of choice is it when you have to decide between food for your family and a roof over their head? How do you fight an unpopular war while worrying about how your family will survive back home? How do you hold your family together alone and penniless while your spouse is too far away to help?
At the last minute, a compromise was reached, at least for now. Disaster has been averted. All these families, and all the people connected to them, can breathe again. I choose to believe that if the worst had happened, we, in this community, would have reached out in love and support to help the families affected. I choose to believe that communities nationwide would have reached out in the same way.
Call me Pollyanna if you want, but when disaster strikes, we Americans figure out a way to pull together for the greater good! In the darkest hours, let’s all remember to let our light shine as a beacon so everyone can find their way. - DQ