Lance Scranton: Unexpected storms
Stranded in Denver by a spring storm gave me an unexpected, but rewarding opportunity to do a little bit more reading than usual, and it wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
When did it become a question as to the direction of our country from a capitalist or socialist perspective? When did it become a serious question as to the type of society we should be living in as Americans? When did our young people’s minds get hijacked by the ideas of failed systems any study of history would make painfully clear?
We are living in unpredictable times, one author reasoned, while another pointed out that it has always been this way, and present times are no different. Certainly, there appears to be a strengthening of the mindset that our country isn’t giving everyone a fair shake and that many are getting left behind — things like a lack of employment opportunities or financial debt.
Some people believe that simply tasking the government with implementing ideas and policies to take care of these issues would solve all our problems. Others take the view of the oft-quoted: “Any government big enough to give you anything you want is big enough to take everything you have.”
But there has to be some middle ground that helps us tackle the unpredictability that younger generations seem to be experiencing.
Without too much time spent here on the destructive capacity of technology in the lives of our young people, it was refreshing to read that some tried and true measures of happiness are still effective and mostly under our control. Such ideas don’t rely on technology or a certain app or even a book to read. You find them in just about every well-functioning society!
Most important is the need for some kind of belief system that will help you make sense of the evil and suffering that is a reality in our world. Without this, you will never understand the eventualities that constitute living among imperfect people who make bad decisions, poor choices, and let us down at times.
How about a family that you love and loves you back? This can be a tough one; it doesn’t mean you are all perfect, but the sense of care and compassion transcends pure objective reality and helps us find meaning.
One author wrote about the importance of work and how it gives us a sense of meaning and how being of benefit to those around us will make us better people who focus less on ourselves.
And finally, do you have some friends you care about and can share your stories of struggle and joy with? It would appear this is really important and, along with the others, helps us deal with those unexpected storms in life that make us feel like life is unpredictable.
Take a look around you and figure out what you need to do to find your happy place in a world that has always been on the brink. Just ask those of us who have been around for a few years!
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.
Stories enrich our lives. We tell them, listen to them, read them, repeat them, write them, watch them on TV, enjoy them in theaters. Stories teach us, entertain us, make us laugh, ease our social situations, and cement our friendships.