Turn the negatives into positives | AspenTimes.com

Turn the negatives into positives

Hi, my name is Theo Bird. I’m an ol’ gal who’s been around for almost 80 years. I need to speak out. President Bush is determined to push our country into war.

I’ve been saying, “I can’t believe this! I definitely do not want to believe it!” Also I receive the impression he wants to rule the world. I recall back in the 1930s and early 1940s the leader of another country wanted to take over the world. There certainly are some parallels here.

It seems when I was younger, I questioned many of our government’s activities, but I didn’t speak out. I think many of my generation may have been intimidated; we didn’t particularly want to be labeled a “pinko” or such. I’m thankful the news media these days encourages us to voice our opinions.

A number of our rulers impress me as being arrogant, self-centered, rude and uncaring. (I don’t watch the TV much anymore.) Are they truly listening to the voice of the people? I also wonder about local representatives; there is so much paranoia and hate, brutal hate going around.

We need better role models for our youngsters. When I was a teenager, I never would have thought of writing a letter to the editor, which expressed my firm belief in fairness.

I want to mention a few happenings I remember from back then. Maybe there are a few old-timers around who remember Paul Robeson, an intelligent man with a beautiful voice. It seemed like he disappeared very suddenly; then was extradited for many years. I really didn’t comprehend it all.

Early on in World War II, I moved from Madison, Wis., to Tres Ritos, N.M. I heard unfamiliar terms such as “Gestapo” and “Fifth Columnist.” A couple of my friends were picked up because their accents were different and they had relatives in Europe.

One of them joined the Tenth Mountain Division after the sheriff released him. That same year I learned of the Japanese internment camp in Santa Fe. I was so naive I thought they were intruders from another country; I didn’t know they were our neighbors, born and raised in the USA.

I wonder if many readers remember that Iwo Jima was bombed in 1945, and thousands of innocent natives were murdered or maimed.

During the summer of 1959, I was able to travel through Europe. When I was visiting Costa Brava, Spain, a Britisher told me at that time the general opinion was two countries wanted to take over the world ? Russia and USA. (I wonder what the general opinion is now?)

After I returned home I often heard the words “the ugly American.” Later I learned this was the title of a book by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdock, published in 1959. The major part of this book is based on true facts, describing the experiences of many Americans living and working in other countries. (There are even a few beautiful Americans included.)

Please stand up and speak out. Broadcast the positives you believe in, such as truth, fairness and caring. Think positive and do positive. I fear there are Americans who are afraid to speak out, especially if they are government employees or in some way associated with the upper echelon.

I’ve always been a positive thinker and a positive doer. Now I feel as though I’m almost engulfed by negatives. I must get back on the positive track. “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” (Do you remember that ditty?)

I do believe the younger generation will turn this ol’ world around! I pray that parents (or parent figures) will be good role models for their children and the “young-uns” will be good role models for their sisters and brothers.

I hope younger people will reach out, take good care of their own selves as well as others, and get off the “me, me, me” track. This can be a caring nation again. The future is in their hands.

I remember a time of much togetherness and caring, when neighbors actually loved their neighbors. We need more friends! We do not need more enemies! We should be promoting world peace! We should not be promoting world war!

One definition for “democracy” (in my little ol’ Webster’s) is “the acceptance of the principle of equality of rights, opportunity and treatment, and lack of snobbery.”

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to speak out. I hope that my comments may in some way be helpful, especially to my younger friends.

Dear God, please help us all.

Theo Bird


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