THE SEVENTH INNING STRETCH

The Seventh Inning Stretch

The season’s barely begun. Baseball, politics, Oscars, the Derby, Daytona.

It seems to us the country is exhausted already. We know what’s coming and we really don’t want to have to deal with any of it.
Only those fanatics whose daily existence requires booster shots want to wager on Hillary, or Jeb versus Mario. No one is ready for Ted Cruz.

We see the same videos of people being cut down in their primes by other people in their primes, and no explanations are offered or made that make the pictures clearer for us.

Not that we don’t have plenty of things to make us worry. The entire Middle East, the Ukraine, Japan, China. Income inequality. The common core. Joblessness and the lack of preparation for even considering a job let alone to be considered for one. Important jobs in government going unoccupied, and hence important work in government stalled.

Black lives do matter.

Convenience store owners deserve to live, as well.

Fracking may be causing earthquakes, but who’s angry enough to stop the flow of dough that surfaces?

Trains loaded with oilcars blow up every ten days but no one cares enough to stop the rolling stock to investigate it.

California is running out of water.

The Fed may raise interest rates, finally.

Professional athletes have reached an Olympic plateau of disregard for their fans, not to mention members of their own families.
Disney is promoting the newest Star Wars saga 8 months in advance of its release. By the time it does open, no one will care.
Everything we do, buy, hear, play, support, work hard at – is for the future, for the children.

You know what? The country really doesn’t care just at this time. It’s come through a miserable winter, still uncleared from the roadways of New England. The country is going to do what it’s going to do, which is simple: work hard at survival, try to keep smiling despite the drop-off at the end of the street, excoriate Congress, try and fail at saving for its retirement.

Jordan Spieth mattered for four days. Bruce Jenner may. The Kardashians are done.

Food prices may increase. Everyone is waiting for the second shoe on gasoline prices. Veterans are still receiving less than optimum treatment.

People who have jobs hunch their shoulders and try to stay below radar. Those without are rallying for an increase in the minimum wage.

Thousands die each day in the Middle East. Even more die trying to leave the Middle East.

Nations shop for weaponry. Then they use it.

Terrorism and kidnappings and ransoming – not to mention our own homegrown industry in the US – school shootings – continue.

Big money merges. People are laid off.

So what prescription can we cash that makes us as a nation return to the days of optimism and energy?

Your guess is as good as our own. Clearly, though we need a break. Not necessarily in Florida at spring time.

How about this? Take the weekend off. Clean up the yard. Check the grill. Phone the family. Sleep in without guilt. Throw caution to the winds and go for a family outing. All hand-held devices must be disconnected for 48 hours. Try not to focus on the dark clouds hovering.

Insist that you believe, and make this real, that you believe in the strength and goodness of both other people and our country. Take big breathes. Don’t read a newspaper or watch a newscast until Monday morning. Disengage. Rely on your own sense of humor, or purpose.

Allow people to make idiots of themselves, cheer them on, and then sit again in the bleachers, feeling relieved and rather giddy.

It’s not death and taxes that frighten us. It’s Mondays.

Scratch every Monday off your calendars.

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