We may not be the person we want to be, but what we do determines who we are, whether we like it or not.
Watching the Bunnel house be taken apart brick by brick has made me quite reflective. The house is old, unused and tiny. The new Student Life and Wellness building will be brand spankin’ new, have a use for everyone and is going to be a gimongous, state-of-the-art monstrosity.
It only makes sense to remove the Bunnell house to make way for this much needed facility. However, what has grabbed my attention is the thought and care that went into the relocation of our little piece of history.
What a legacy. Over a hundred years after it was built, people still care what happens to it. It will be rebuilt brick by brick on a new location, preserving most of the building and keeping it on campus.
My mind tends to wander and think about several topics at the same time but every now and then, a common thread weaves its way through my subconscious and stitches it all together.
Our country has gone through a tough stretch, is on a rough path and turbulence lies ahead. Ten years ago, gas was $1.36 per gallon, today $5 and $6 isn’t unheard of. Our national debt is spiraling out of control with an equivalent of $128,300 worth of debt per household.
What has really smacked me in the face and thrown a bucket of cold water over my head is the lack of common sense. You can talk numbers all day long but we are starting to reach made-up levels. When I was a kid I thought trillion was the name of an alien species. Now quadrillion has moved from the “yeah sure” category to the mundane.
When you start banning soda over 16 oz, limiting the size of popcorn tubs at movie theaters, and, here comes the big one, banning the donation of food to soup kitchens, you reach the alien world of “you gotta be kidding!”
It is now an everyday occurrence to hear of a lemonade stand being shutdown for health code violations and not having the proper permits. Seriously, “Big Brother” wants their share of all the ten-year olds’ profits from selling cookies and lemonade by the side of the road on a hot summer day.
Maybe that commercial with the little girl using her smart phone to run her lemonade stand and making tons of money got to the right person at the FDA who thought it was a mini documentary.
Whatever the reason, there has been no reason as of late.
What gives me hope for our country is the American spirit and the example everyday people are for me. I’ve come to realize that America hasn’t lost its way, we haven’t changed from our founding fathers’ principles, we just fell asleep. Our government has led us astray, but as a people we are waking up.
With the recent ban on food donations for homeless shelters (I still can’t say that without furrowing my brow), a group of Americans have banded together to take a stand. Like him or not, Glenn Beck pulled off something pretty amazing last week.
In an effort to combat the ridiculous regulations, Beck called for his audience to fill 11 semi trucks with food and supplies to be delivered to the cities in the direst of straights, and to do it by July 28. By the time his show ended one hour later, they were filled. The next day he asked the audience to double it within the next two weeks. Twenty-four hours later, the quota was met.
Over one million meals were donated within that short time, and more are coming in every day. In a day in time where the most poor among us resort to eating cat food to survive, all it took was some organization to rally the troops and storm in with the solution. If we attacked the war on hunger like we used to fight wars, we would go in, carpet bomb the place and leave everyone with a full belly and a smile on their face.
Rather than ending up on the ash heap of history, America will rise from those ashes like a phoenix and be better than ever. Not because of who gets elected, who gets voted out or because of some government program. It’s the people.
Once we have woken up, you better watch out because those that oppose the American way of life will be left in the wake of its greatness. But the greatness of America is that we will always reach back for those left behind and give them a hand.
The trials we face as a nation, personally, or even as a student body, will shape who we become. Shrinking in the face of a challenge and avoiding a chance at greatness defines us as a coward, but standing strong and taking it head on makes us heroes no matter the outcome.
I was losing faith in our system and how we have been operating. Dealing with politicians can do that to you. Sometimes it’s like when you played as a kid and that one annoying guy would say, “No, that didn’t hit me! I have a force-field!” Especially when they just start making up garbage rules that are only there because of a power trip. I mean, 16 oz., really? If you really cared about my health and wanted me to avoid soda, just ban it altogether. Unless you institute a limit, I’ll just buy two. I was starting to wonder what the heck was going on, it was almost like an episode of the Twilight Zone.
Thank you America, for proving me wrong. Now keep it up.
Jonathan Boldt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jboldt24