Thursday, August 04, 2011

Losing Confidence

Yesterday I found myself feeling like a pessimist. This is out of character for me. Normally I am the eternal optimist even when nothing in life seems to support that viewpoint. Pessimists think optimists are na├»ve. What brought on this pessimism? Partial blame goes to the news. I’m tired of hearing about the debt ceiling and I’m frustrated with the gridlock of our government. Part of it was something I read in a book called “Hope Against Darkness” by Richard Rohr. I can’t summarize the entire book now but he says that you can’t have a great country without being a confident people and many people today have little confidence in any of our institutions. I have little confidence in our government and politicians. Even though I have a son who will be a priest I have shaken confidence in the institutional church in which I was raised. I think few of the problems that we currently have with our school system existed when I was a student. While I am thinking about it, why isn’t graduation from high school mandatory? Kentucky’s graduation rate for high school is 76%. Every institution seems to be broken and in chaos, both structurally and financially. Everyone is broke and no one knows how to pay for anything. I’m one of 75,000,000 baby boomers who wonders if I will have to work till I drop. Did I mention the health care crisis? What’s going to happen to our health care systems when there are 75,000,000 old people? Did you know that since January 1st, 2011, ten thousand baby boomers turn 65 years old every day and that this will continue for the next 19 years? It’s a little scary. We need some great leaders to give us hope and to restore our confidence so we can once again be a confident people that believes they can do great things.

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