They Say “It Was A Different Time”

An Honor Guard carries the casket of Sen. John McCain, as they prepare to place his remains in the Arizona State Capitol, Aug. 29, Phoenix. (U.S. Army Photo by Alun Thomas, USAREC Public Affairs) An Honor Guard carries the casket of Sen. John McCain, as they prepare to place his remains in the Arizona State Capitol, Aug. 29, Phoenix. (U.S. Army Photo by Alun Thomas, USAREC Public Affairs)

“They” being the people who find it appropriate to tweet about the death of John McCain. I’m not talking about casual expressions of condolence issued by the thousands of folks who did not know the man, or only barely knew him. Their few public words are a kindness.

I am referring to the journalists, news people, correspondents and politicians, including the President, who lack the ability or desire to write at least a gracious, respectful paragraph or more about a man who was a significant presence in America for more than half a century!

I am 73. I know technology has changed our world—how we view it and how we communicate. It is often exciting, certainly broadening our horizons. But what happens when even the most meaningful and important events, the turbulent and emotional times, are coldly reported in a few hundred characters? When context is non-existent and educational value considered a waste of space? When the power of the written word to capture the glory or horror of a situation is diminished?

What happens to us?

Perhaps what happens is that we lose sight of the value of life. We forget kindness and exploit anger. We find it easier to hate than love. We find compromise unacceptable. Why bother – when just a few words – a tweet – takes care of it! Move on. Don’t waste time. Don’t think. Don’t feel.

I remember a time when eloquent prose was admired. History and current events were captured in books and essays. Newspapers had many columns devoted to issues. And writers wrote!

“That was a different time”, they say.

I miss that time. Don’t you?

Carole Leskin
caroleleskin15@comcast.net

About Carole Leskin
Carole Leskin taught English and History in the Philadelphia public schools before moving into the Human Resources field. She was a Director of HR, working primarily with global organizations, specializing in Training and Development, Employee Relations and Diversity. Carole has a Master's degree in English Education and is a Certified Senior Human Resources Professional and Diversity Recruiter. Now retired, she writes about the challenges of aging, especially for those who live alone and have no family, a subject that impacts her personally. Carole can be reached at cmaleskin@gmail.com.

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