An Either/Or Situation
This is the backstory. Several years ago, I went to Dr. Garritson, a dermatologist, due to an inflammation that started on my back. She diagnosed my problem as atopic dermatitis. I inject myself with Dupixent every other week, which addresses the issue. However, a couple of weeks ago, I had a routine appointment at which she found two small basal cell carcinomas on my back. I noticed that Dr. Garritson was pregnant. She is expecting twin boys around Christmas time.
I have an idiosyncrasy. When I want to express my appreciation for helping me in some manner, I will give that person a Himalayan salt lamp. When I returned for the appointment, I gave Dr. Garritson a nightlight for her twins. To be honest, it is a rather large nightlight that weighs in at around forty pounds. Additionally, I also gave her a poem for each of her twins. The first poem was The Bridge Builder, which I had memorized in a high school English class six decades ago. It was also a poem in my baby book eight decades ago.
The Bridge Builder
by Will Allen Dromgoole
An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
The second poem was Rudyard Kipling’s If—
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.
Those two poems are my guardrails in life. They explain my mindset and what I deem as important. In both poems, a man is on his journey down the yellow brick road of his life. The poems should be metaphors for the way we should treat each other. Dr. Garritson’s twins will be teenagers when they grasp the meaning of their poems.
With or without these two poems and a large Himalayan night light, the twins will grow up similar to both poems due to the type of person Dr. Garritson is. She will be an excellent mother and doesn’t need to read this essay. This essay is written about the mindset that a large percentage of Americans possess today.
Some present-day people should have been given those poems as infants or memorized them in high school. One person who missed their message is Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Tommy is functioning, or rather dysfunctioning, in the world due to his literary lack of knowledge. He won’t allow the Senate to approve hundreds of military promotions unless the Senate restricts female officers from crossing state lines for abortions. Tommy also has issues with the LGBTQ community. Also, Tommy doesn’t see anything wrong with white nationalists. So, he is sexist, racist, and homophobic. To make matters even worse, he glorifies being far less than he could have been.
Then there is the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson. Mike is now the Speaker of the House, having won every Republican vote in Congress to make him the Speaker. While being a back-bencher, he still was one of the election deniers even though the House certified the election of Joe Biden as the President. When the MAGA wing of the Republican caucus went to the courts regarding voting fraud, all of the six dozen appeals were rejected. He still claims that Biden won a rigged election.
Mike is a Christian evangelical, and to prove his religious faith, he brought his Bible to his coronation as the new Speaker. The Bible, for Mike, is the divine truth. God spoke the truth to the world. Mike affirms that his God created the universe in six days and rested from that arduous task.
Mike’s assertion that God created everything in less than a week should raise several issues, like why he is sure about his God. There are other gods out there. Had Mike been born in China or Egypt, he would have been an evangelical Christian.
The bad news for these true believers like Mike is that no scientists buy into the six-day creation narrative. Actually, Genesis 1:00-2:3 features a six-day story. In Genesis 2:4-5, God creates us and everything in the world in a few seconds.
To be honest, there are heated debates among those in the scientific world about the dating of the creation of the universe. Some believe that the creation of the universe dates back 13.7 billion years, while others claim it is more like 13.8 billion years ago.
While Mike would claim the scientific notion to be merely a sinful assumption, he doesn’t know that much of the early parts of Genesis were based not upon the words of his God but those of The Epic of Gilgamesh. That epic predated the writings of the early parts of Genesis by more than a millennium.
Both the Old and New Testaments are based on sexism. Women in biblical times weren’t treated or seen as equals. There weren’t female rabbis in the OT, nor did Jesus have any female disciples.
This essay offered my readers a choice. You can follow people like Tommy, Mike, and the other Trumpers, who won’t change. What will you do with your time as you journey down the yellow brick road of your life? Choose wisely. Your clock is ticking.
Either you will reach out to the younger generation by helping them, or you will bs your way through your life following leaders like Donald the Dumb. Trump was twice impeached, indicted four times with 91 felony charges, found guilty of sexual abuse, found guilty of paying hush money, and for fraudulent running his business. Name a mob boss or crook facing as many charges as Donald the Dumb. After trying all his life, he finally came in first.
This video is the poem, The Bridge Builder, put into a song.
This video is If,,,