© 2016 by Charles D. Jones

It's Not 1966

August 28, 2016

You know it's not 1966 because June Cleaver is no longer at home. She had to take a job at Starbuck's because Ward lost his job when his company was purchased by a hedge fund who fired all middle management. He took a lower paying job, then lost it, when the company closed its doors because it couldn't compete with a Chinese competitor which stole all its patents and flooded the market with cheaper copycat products. Ward went into depression and finally moved out. 

 

After June gets off work, she takes care of the Beaver's daughter LaJune while he completes drug rehab. LaJune's mom, whom Beaver married so she could gain citizenship and not be deported back to Haiti, should be out of a women's federal prison by Christmas. While June works the early shift, Wally and Eddie Haskell, who married last Easter, care for LaJune.

 

Ward is living with long time family friend Barney Fife in a van down by the river. Barney lost his bid to become sheriff when he tweeted some "regrettable photos" to 600,000 Twitter followers when he meant to send them only to Thelma Lou who was horribly embarrassed, hurt, confused and angry. 

 

No, it's not 1966. America has changed, if you haven't been to Wal-Mart or Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp lately. It's well on its way to becoming non-white, non-Christian and vastly different. It's more complicated, messier. Many who long for the good ole days are angry, afraid and some are buying into reactionary hate fed by fear.

 

Is this change a bad thing? I'm not sure it matters because it's inevitable. Personally I think we could make it a great thing, but some of us need to make a decision. Maybe you're like me and are in the 2nd half of life (some might say the 4th quarter) and you've made some mistakes, experienced some suffering, been the beneficiary of God's love and grace, and still want to make a difference. So how are we going to respond to the societal upheaval caused by these inevitable demographic and cultural shifts and a global economic reality?

 

Thankfully we have a choice because we know a God of love. We can choose to see life through the cloudy lens of fear, anxiety, paranoia, judgment, hate, and self protectionism. Maybe we're going to choose to straddle the fence and say we are "loving but not affirming" whatever that means. Or are we going to see life in the light through the clear loving eyes of Jesus of Nazareth? Are we going to build walls or bridges? 

 

How we see and treat June, Ward, Wally and Eddie, Beaver, LaFonda, LaJune, Barney and Thelma Lou could make all the difference, not just in their lives, but in our lives and in our country's future. We could make it our finest hour.

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