Monday, January 29, 2018

When will we learn to think for ourselves?

By Monica Vest Wheeler
My question for the day: When will we learn to think for ourselves? God gave us free will.

I finally had the opportunity to see "The Post," the current movie about the 1971 Pentagon Papers, a critical turning point in our nation's history.

It should be required viewing for everyone in this country. And everyone should have to write an essay about it.

(I'm really nice because it's not like I'm making you sit down and read the whole Constitution, though it wouldn't hurt us at this junction of our human history.)

I am a child of the 1970s, lit by the fire of an incredible age of journalism. I took an unspoken pledge to research and uncover the truth and facts, and write about them to educate the public so people could make informed decisions. What a sacred vow I accepted when I learned the heart and soul of the journalism field from my high school teacher, Lee Pursley, pictured here inspiring me.

I'm more troubled today about the future of this nation than ever before in my 59 years. I wonder where its common sense has gone by the way people run with rumors and ignore facts. The internet has spawned some of the most ridiculous and vile theories and opinions that have crippled, not enlightened the world … creating blind obedience and dangerous paths to the cliff where people will jump just because they've been told to … because they've forgot how to think for themselves.

One of the greatest lessons of "The Post" is that the First Amendment is the FIRST amendment. And as the Supreme Court said, the free press serves the governed, NOT the government.

Fearmongers and power-hungry individuals who consider themselves above the law are grounding our nation's symbol, the eagle. Just remember this: if you consider yourself right-wing or left-wing, a bird cannot fly with only one wing.

Absolute devotion to one party is dangerous, not loyalty. It blinds you to THE truth, THE justice, THE American way.

That's the trio that earns my undying respect and devotion.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Take a moon pill

By Monica Vest Wheeler

What is the song that "Annie" sings … yes … "the sun will come out tomorrow …"

Yep, the sun is shining whether we can see it or not, depending on how playful the clouds are that day. It's simply there, doing its job, lighting the way whether we choose to see the path or not.

And if we want to continue to "see," we certainly never look directly at the sun.

What we don't observe as often is the moon. It's constantly on the move and changing shapes and playing hide 'n seek. And sometimes, we're simply too tired by the day's end to look for it.

Eh, it will be there tomorrow.

How easily we forget.

We often spend a ton of money on entertainment … flashing lights, fancy moves, fantastic noises. But one of the grandest performances in the universe is right above us, demanding our attention several nights every month.

I'm back in Indiana, caring for my loved one. The other night, she said the moon should be out, and she walked slowly to the window.

"Look," she urged me to join her as she pulled the curtain back. "Isn't it beautiful?"

"Wow, it's gorgeous!"

And we stood there for a couple of minutes in silence, mesmerized by the bright globe breaking through the darkness. It seemed close enough to grab, and we both left fingerprints on the glass to touch it with our imaginations.

It was the best drive-in movie I had seen in eons because I wasn't distracted by all those man-made elements. Both of us were in awe of the universe … and how much bigger than us it will always be.

Sometimes we need to be put in our place to see the bigger picture …

To see that we have a greater role than we usually allow ourselves to play …

To reach beyond our self-imposed limitations …

To indulge in the simple beauty of the earth and sky and heaven.

As she laid down in bed, her smile was bigger than the winter moon …

For what ails you … take a moon pill and call me in the morning.