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By Forrest Hershberger
View from the Handlebars 

A Balancing Act


October 20, 2021 | View PDF

Once in a while, there is a glimmer of reality in our trip on this crazy ride.

There is a sitcom recently introduced that plays with the concept of an Afghan interpreter moving to the U.S., and living with a soldier who served there. I’m leaving out some of the details, but the story line often involves his adjustment to American society, the soldier adjusting to stateside society and the two often acting like brothers from different mothers.

The story had the opportunity to borrow from headlines with the military withdraw and Taliban return, and resulting urgency to get out of the region if there is even a hint of being an American sympathizer.

The abbreviated version has the household sleepless for almost a week before the show ended. In a way, the last statement of the show is the real cliff hanger. It isn’t leading to the next show necessarily, but it is, in my opinion, a reflection of American society as well as the show and Afghanistan.

He said “I’m happy for my sister. I’m sad for my country.”

I was struck by the paradox, the walking of a tightrope. He was relieved, even happy, his sister escaped, but sad for the condition of his homeland and the friends and family who are then in a moment to moment fear for their lives.

It sounds eerily familiar. What are we escaping from? That has a heavy and varying answer. What attracts people to the U.S.? Those who have been here for generations, is life perfect or a constant journey? The second one is the most correct answer. No matter how perfect or satisfying we see life, there is something we try or ought to leave behind.

The parallel between the 30 minute sitcom and life is we need to be grateful for what we have, but wary of where we are going. We need to constantly live in the words of former President Ronald Reagan: freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction.”

Presently, we have people betraying our country in plain view: one gets prosecuted and the other nearly disregarded. We have education and history not just rewritten but white-washed almost akin to “1984.”

We have people arguing about the southern border even when facts are presented. Elected officials debate enormous spending packages while telling voters it won’t cost anymore.

Honestly, it is time for the American people to look in the mirror. We will be what we are willing to tolerate.

Have we reached our tolerance or do we have deeper to go in the well?


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