My great uncle Wilbur passed away two weeks ago and ever since, I've been thinking and thinking about the world he grew up in. He was just the exact kind of person I think anyone could appreciate and love and admire. At his funeral, his dear lifelong friend (Don) spoke and I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of loss as I listened to him (slowly, carefully, shakily) tell about the infamous 8-day fishing trip they took as teenagers (along with my grandpa) where they were lost and wandering and barefoot and etc. and then about flying off to war in Germany together and about coming home from war together and living in Manti, UT for the next 70 or so years together where he was a grocer and a fantastic basketball and tennis coach and so on. I love my great uncle Wilbur and his family and I am very sad that Wilbur isn't on this Earth anymore to be with us, but as I listened to Don talk (and watched the military rights at the grave site. Don't even get me started on that.) I was aching not only for the loss of this best kind of man but of the whole world that helped create this man and the generation surrounding him that are slowly leaving us. I'm just nervous that this type of person is gone and lost forever. That it's not possible to be like them in the world we live in now. You know, that they don't make men and women like they used to. It just seems to me that the world 50-60-70 years ago was much more conducive to creating the type of person that I really wish I could be. The type of person that chooses to live in a place like Manti, UT and dedicate their life to touching other people's life in a real way that makes a real difference to those people and reaches much further than Sanpete County, or wherever. And not because they have to or because they are stuck there or don't have the competence to go 'further' than that but because they understand that they can make a great difference from that position and they choose to do so. The kind of people that know how to work hard and do what is expected of them. The kind of people that are kind and generous and thoughtful and loving and honest and brave. The kind of people who are intelligent and wise and genuine, respectful and appropriate and happy. I know it's possible to live this way no matter what your circumstances are but it just seems like we've got things so backwards these days. It was about people then and not all the messed up things our world is about now. I mean, who would have thought you'd be walking down the street with your friend and they'd be on some electronic device talking to 8 other people besides you? It's just weird, this world. Yet, it is the world we live in. I could talk about this all day long. I just really want to be happy with my life and feel like I'm doing what I should be doing and taking care of the people around me. And that sounds easy enough but it's really opposite and hard sometimes. So here's hoping it becomes less so. Maybe we should start with the return of social dancing and petticoats?
*I feel like I should note that I am very grateful for technology and the good things it gives me and I'm not anti-progression in any way but I just wish we could hold on to what made others great while we develop teenier faster computers.