From the look of our nation, we the people, don’t do well with loss. I can’t put my finger on why that is. I have a few theories. I am truly concerned about the state of our country after next week’s election. Loss does not bode the losing party well. What is it that makes us so unable to let go?
My generation has raised a generation of humans who believe everyone is equal. Unfortunately, in our quest to soften our children’s hearts we have created unrealistic expectations for the realities of life. One of my grown daughters’ favorite memories as children is of their Daddy yanking them out of Upward Basketball. I had signed them up for “good responsible Christian basketball fellowship” on Saturday mornings. He took one of them to the first practice. He came home appalled. He walked in the back door shouting, “Mama! You do realize they don’t keep score?” I was like, “Yes, it’s so everyone gets to play”. “Mama, that’s not how life works. You have to know how to lose. Our girls will learn how to win and lose. Uh, No, Sir. We are done with that mess”. And that was the end of no score basketball. They played Parks & Rec basketball until 8th grade with no one who looked like them less a few other like-minded parents from school who also enrolled their girls. Real-life. No bailouts. We learn to work hard. We win some games and we lose some games. We understand that if we lose? There’s the next time. Everyone has the same shot. “Nothing in life is free” was their Dad’s favorite saying. In other words, work hard.
A high school classmate of mine lost his battle with ALS this past week. I didn’t get to say goodbye as I promised. It brought up all sorts of ALS “junk”. My brother, sister in law and nephew are moving to Hawaii in December. I am immensely grieved by this. I will be the only living member left on my Dad’s side of the family in the continental US: I feel like an orphan. This is grieving a loss of what once was. It usually brings up all kinds of other emotions if you haven’t dealt with other losses. I think we are seeing a lot of that in this country right now due to COVID. People are grieving what once was and it’s stirring up all kinds of “stuff” that they’d never previously dealt with. This is grief. It is a process of loss. You walk thru it, not around it. The key? You don’t stay parked in it. You feel all the things, you learn, you weep, you sow, you grow, and you go forward.
We have a generation of entitled & angry (grieved) people that believe it’s okay not to take responsibility for their actions. We have a generation of young people who believe that they are owed reciprocity for everything that’s happened in their lives. This is absurd. When you start taking it all apart anger is nothing more than people who are broken or hurt. They want to be heard but don’t know how to do that. They, quite simply, are grieved. We have a generation of grieved people. Why is that? In my generation’s effort to create equality so that no preschoolers’ feelings would be hurt, I think we removed safety nets and life became a free fall. Boundaries. Kids need them. We’ve removed all of them.
I don’t know what the answer is other than pray and if you’ve been praying continue to pray. Maybe our prayers need to be focused on healing. Maybe we don’t even need to hear words anymore—maybe everyone’s just talked out, screamed out, yelled out. Maybe we just need to pray “Lord heal our Nation and all Your people”. Amen.