If you follow the “news,” – as do I – there is a lot more to worry about than to be happy about. Let’s first do our worrying. Here are ten things we might want to put on our worry list.
1. Whether or not the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Attorney General and most everyone heading the executive branch of our Federal government are serving the public interest or simply self-dealing and using their positions to further themselves and their financial backers.
2. Whether global warming is a real and present danger, proceeding unchecked on a course to cause permanent and irreversible harm to the home planet, or if the potential risk is being wildly exaggerated.
3. Whether the economy is basically sound and unlikely to faulter, or if recession and difficult times are just around the corner.
4. Whether immigration is good and adds to the fullness and richness of our culture and economy, or if it is dangerous and threatens our safety and livelihoods.
5. Whether our schools and colleges are successfully educating our children and young people in ways that prepare them for productive lives in the real world, or if those institutions are only raising the literacy of the more affluent and talented children and young people while neglecting the needs and interests of the less affluent and less talented majority.
6. Whether government will halt the deterioration and neglect of our public facilities and lands or continue to ignore their worsening condition.
7. Whether mass killing, community violence, drug – child – and family abuse, and personal danger will continue to fester, or if our governments and communities will come together to act to reduce and perhaps even stop these facts of American life.
8. Whether having enough to eat, a safe place to live, an adequate education, needed healthcare, and life’s fundamentals will always be contingent on wealth status, or if someday everyone will get a fair shot at the golden ring.
9. Whether Congress will ever get around to dealing with the real issues and concerns of most people – at least most people I know, or if our politicians will continue to be mostly focused on who will win the next election.
10. Whether our democracy is actually at risk and some people really are above the law, or if all the hubbub is just so much smoke to keep us from noticing that nothing is being done about the things that truly are of concern to me and perhaps to you too.
I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be all that difficult to list ten more worries. Your worries are likely not the same as mine, but I have no doubt that you could easily add ten more to your list too. And I haven’t even opened the door to the rest of the world where there are plenty more reasons to worry. But for now, let’s think about our reasons to be happy. I’m sure I have at least ten.