As we turn the final calendar page on summer, one has to reflect on the very strange items that have merited a news headline recently. I know we have just survived one of the hottest summers on record, so perhaps the temperature can account for some of the following bits:
I learned that one can add two years to life expectancy by reading at least 30 minutes a day, but magazines don’t count. It has to be books. (No one specified if they had to be hard bound.)
The president of the University of Chicago announced to incoming students, by mail, that they could expect to be exposed to ideas that were new to them and that the school would not bar speakers of differing opinions from being invited to the campus. Other universities are congratulating him on his courage.
France has been feverishly barring burkinis from beaches that a few years ago were barring the nude and topless bathers.
North Carolina expects people to carry their birth certificates to qualify for use of appropriate public bathrooms. I am unable to learn who is in charge of bathroom patrol, but I had a wild vision of the return of those little ladies in black who used to collect a franc at French facilities.
An American swimmer “overexaggerated” his account of a night on the town at the Olympics. Is that the new word for what used to be called a lie?
Voters in England went to the polls and pulled the lever for a “Brexit”, only to learn that they were not getting what many of them thought they were voting for. Now Scotland want to “Scexit” and the original voters want a do-over. The perils of democracy are vividly illustrated in this.
That leads us to a national election here at home that is so strange in so many ways that it can’t be reduced to one of these snippets. And, since the campaigning will go on until November, turning the summer page will scarcely change anything on that front.
We can pray for an end to the fires in the West and the wild rains in the South, but the tornado winds seem to know no season. The hurricane period is just beginning which will be a new weather challenge.
What are we to do? Answer: what we have always done. Smile, sometimes a bit sadly, at those others on our planet, and move on with a prayer for these strange beings God has created to share our life’s road. We can only hope they are doing the same for us!