I wrote a letter to my young grandkids after the presidential election. I intend to write more over the next year to let them know what times were like when they were toddlers. I’ll give them the letters when they become adults.
What happens then, when they read the letters? Will they think grandpa was a snarky, smarmy trickster whose pants were on fire?
What you’ll learn in this blog: The good and the bad of what our grandchildren will discover about our times of 2016 when they grow up. Reading time: 3 minutes.
I’m not naïve enough to think they will believe all things in my letters. Let’s face it, they may giggle over how crazy the old man was.
The things he wrote were outlandishly senile crazy! They can’t be true!
This can’t be true, Grandpa. In a tweet, the president-elect claimed millions of Americans committed voter fraud. He also claimed he actually won the popular vote. He said this even though no evidence exists. Unfortunately, some Americans believe him, again even without facts. He tweeted this because Hillary Clinton bested him on the popular vote by 2.5 million votes. The president-elect has a history of using outlandish Twitter messages to change the focus when news goes against him. Alas, some Americans believe him.
(Note to self: Don’t mention his misogyny, racist statements, philandering, belittlement of Muslims and fear of Mexicans. Such stories, true as they are, may only fertilize thoughts that grandpa was downright wacky.)
Is this another of your whoppers, Grandpa? Meanwhile, Sioux and others took a bold stand in the freezing, snowy wilds of North Dakota. Their goal was to stop an oil pipeline from crossing sacred land. They called the pipeline “The Black Snake.” The name refers to a prophecy where a black snake brings destruction to the people and the earth. The government’s response to the protesters before deciding to halt the pipeline: tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets.
China, are you kidding? Next, almost every scientist in the world views global warming as an imminent threat. Yet, the president-elect claims it’s a hoax made up by China. He promises to dismantle efforts that could head-off a global disaster.
Now you’re just outright fibbing, Grandpa. Wars in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere have displaced 65 million people, the highest number of refugees ever, even the refugee crisis after World War II. The number now is equal to the combined populations of California, New York and Colorado. Many Americans are adamant about keeping all refugees out of our country. This speaks a lot to what our society has become. Many of us turn our backs on those in need.
Well, you really are a big, fat liar, Grandpa. More than a third of all Americans, including grandpa, are obese. This is thanks to fast-food, fructose and sofas too soft to get out of. Nonetheless, Ronald McDonald looks trim.
Oh, shut up! And speaking of clowns…clowns are sneaking around suburbia, terrifying young and old alike. The phenomenon is now called The Great Clown Scare of 2016.
You really are crazy, Grandpa. The big news of today is online fake news. Fake news may have swayed the presidential election. It is still bullying into important national issues. The source: Russians with a devious political agenda and black-hearted computer geeks seeking advertising revenue. Fake news is everywhere; truth seems nowhere. It’s come to this: If Facebook or Twitter claim I’m alive, I check my pulse to make sure.
Oh, come on now, bees? A disastrous die-off of bee colonies is a huge problem. It means fewer bees to pollinate vital crops. Food varieties may be in danger. Agriculture will lose billions of dollars with bees gone.
Well, now, this I can believe, Grandpa. Finally, Hillary Clinton caused the bee die-off, according an online news site. Hmm, perhaps that was a fake news site…?
The good stuff
Lest I seem too negative about today’s world, I included positive news in my letter. A few examples:
Good news for our economy. A December federal report showed the U.S. jobless rate fell to a nine-year low. Another report said the economy expanded by 3.2 percent in the third quarter, the fastest pace in two years.
Good news for our environment. With the goal of boosting mainstream acceptance of electric vehicles, four of the world’s top automakers agreed in late November to invest in fast-charging sites in Europe. The car-makers—Ford, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes—decided to do so after seeing the success of the U.S. Tesla, which has major pre-orders for its Model 3 car. Electric cars are far more environmentally friendly than our current gas-guzzlers.
Good news for people. Christie and Alva Jameson already had two children, but they decided room enough existed in their hearts and home for more. So over the last three decades they adopted 35 children, 26 of whom have special needs. Alva died from cancer in 2009. So now Christie is a single mother caring for 11 children who remain at home, all with special needs. “All kids deserve a real home of their own,” Christie said. “In my heart, I knew there was always room for one more.”
Good news for giving thanks. Iconic singer James Taylor sent out a Thanksgiving email that said the key to overcoming setbacks and reversals of fortune is to give thanks. “To whom we give it is a big question but just go ahead on and do it,” Taylor stated. “Gratitude is the way to an improved attitude . . .To have been born in human form and consciousness aboard this unbelievably beneficent planet is an incredible stroke of luck.”
Good news for how to use your wealth. Recent wildfires in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee left people homeless and hopeless. Dolly Parton, who grew up in the Smokey Mountains, decided enough of that. She announced she and her Dollywood companies and foundation will donate $1,000 a month for six months to each family who lost a home in the fire that blazed Gatlinburg. This, she explained, will be “a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires.”
Believe in miracles
So, to my grandkids I write such things.
I pray we will all have decided to work together to make the world better by the time they read my letters. In my grandkids’ adult world, the president is trustworthy. Peace exists. No one is a refugee. Global warming is gone. Bees swarm wide and far. And there are more people like Christie and Alva Jameson, James Taylor and Dolly Parton, bless them.
I believe in miracles.
As for what my grandkids will believe about me? Will I be a teller of truth? Or a caterwauler of fantastic fiction?