By Bob Weaver
Here in the Village of Hur we are surrounded by a vast forest of trees, meandering streams, fresh air, sky, stars, precipitous hills and sculpted landscapes.
The wonderment of creation, the basket of life, the awesome power of God, mystical and mostly unexplained.
We are surrounded by our family and our friends, with a sense of safety and peacefulness.
We have a thousand memories of those who came to this mountain country to toil, sacrifice and give birth to our generations, their sense of commitment and perseverance that gave us a community.
It is a place that gives us hope, when hope seems in short supply.
In the past, we are mostly a people of place, such connection has fading, home is a place we're moving toward.
Now, in the 21st century, life has moved toward virtual "reality," consumed by Facebook, Twitter, Texting, gaming and hundreds of TV channels, and the Internet, less focused eye-to-eye, mouth-to-mouth.
The news cycle is focused on irrational tweets, not policy, by President Donald Trump. Many end with the word SAD.
The Trump administration is often irrational and psychotic, but his supporters seem to have normalized it.
Trump has declared he is good for media, how could they survive without his "entertaining" behavior, while "educating" the public that it is fake news, except that which created by him.
Worse yet, the threat of the loss of long-held American values, constitutional law, the loss of our friends in the greater world and a razor-edge march to yet another war.
Much of the media-connection seems to represent the self-absorption of a me-generation - entertaining us to death.
In America, we have a widely divided electorate, where civility is in short supply, the American Dream on short alert with the rise of "us against them."
We hope that our small county is still a community of place, blooming where planted, often being forced to deal with the people and realities in one's environs, and in a greater sense learning to survive, participate, grow, forgive and live with those around us.
It requires rubbing elbows, in short supply.
A virtual community is selfishly driven and holds little responsibility.
This past year we had some tragic moments, set-backs and falling-downs, the stuff of real life.
For some, there was a rude awakening that bad things happen to decent people.
We find America politicians campaigning against the very problems they have created, using more divisive words and positions than ever before, reported immediately for public consumption.
Even giving working stiffs a little tax break that will expire, while giving themselves the big money breaks which will carry on. Who has time to read the fine print.
Human beings are still ignoring intelligent thinking, common sense, history and human decency, unable to build bridges of understanding.
We seem to be driven to destroy one another to get our way, a behavior mankind has entertained for thousands of years, usually in the name of justice, sometimes in the name of a religion, but more frequently for power and money.
Our ability to recall history is muted by irrational desires.
We repeat the dreadful, again and again.
We are rattled daily by government-corporate media, frequently shaping our political views into directions that make no sense, while those in power have their merry way.
Yet, there are times when we rise above our selfish interests, redeeming the worst in us, rare moments when we surpass all expectations, a moment that we could genuinely be pleased with ourselves.
We must savor those moments and cling to them.
They are moments that give us hope.
Surely we aspire for a better world, a hope that is seen in the untainted eyes of children who surround us.
Here in the Village of Hur we are rooted in the sod, holding on
to basic humanity, the teachings of Christ and my 9th grade civics book, contemplating on this day sitting on the porch of the falling down house of my birth, near near the village of Hur.
I am proud to let my grandchildren know that I have stood for social justice, marched in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, and have tried to stand tall for those whose voices have been dampened.