In the course of my days, I travel near and far, meeting with people from all social strata and walks of life. Many years ago, I made a conscious decision that I would keep my religious and political opinions to myself. I don't believe these to be good topics for anyone other than family or friends.
During the course of my travels today, I found myself visiting an account owned by someone who has become a good friend of mine over the years. I was not far from home and, as he was fairly busy, I had to wait for a bit. Mike's store was full of people who were looking to sell their gold and silver. For those of you who have missed the billboards and signs promising " the highest prices paid", precious metals prices have been skyrocketing for the last 24 months. For a solid hour, I people watched. Young men selling their gold bracelets, the executor of an estate looking to turn a deceased person's heirlooms into cash and, an elderly couple selling their silver flatware. This bothered me most of all.
This is a scene that has been playing out all over the country for the past several years. I will paint the remainder of my thoughts with a broad brush as I don't believe my concerns to be a Party issue, rather, a deep seeded concern for my future and that of my children.
Our society has not recovered. To many small towns and back road places continue to struggle and these same places appear to be important only when they serve a political purpose. I watched and listened to people selling heirlooms in order to support themselves. This day to day existence is not a punch line for a political speech, a lightning rod to rally constituents around. This is the life for far to many people living in our country today.
Many of my personal beliefs are rooted in eras long gone. I am an old fashioned gent in a young man's body. I believe you should open the car door for your wife. I believe in hard work and persistence. I believe that it is my responsibility to provide for my family. I believe that kids should settle differences in the school yard, after the bell rings. I believe that at the end of the day, your quality of life should not come down to selling what you cherish to make end's meet. I am frustrated. Frustrated and concerned for the future. As a whole, we are not better off than we were four years ago. I don't believe this is something for which one person can be held accountable. Perhaps I worry to much? Yes, I do worry - the worry of a father with young boys, the worry of a 20 year mortgage, and yes, the worry of to little water in my favorite river. I worry that I will shortly be reading an obituary for the Middle Class. I worry that the political divides in our country will continue to grow and the path toward renewed greatness will move further into the horizon.
I wonder if introspection is also something that comes to you as you age. Maybe it's not the age but the children. Whatever it is, it helps me stay grounded, appreciative and thankful for what I have been given and earned.