Sunday, February 14, 2010

Get Your Feet Off The Furniture!

There was a time when parents admonished children to do just that. I can't imagine that George W. Bush didn't hear it. I don't know about Obama. He's of a different generation. If he didn't however, it's his loss. We already know he's lax when it comes to proper protocol.

Perhaps this small issue is part of a larger one. A certain arrogance. Disdain. Lack of respect where it is due. You see, this desk is not just any desk. It's our desk. The people's desk.

It is also much, much more.

It was a gift to the United States as a token of friendship and goodwill from Queen Victoria.

While on an Arctic expedition the HMS Resolute got stuck in ice and was abandoned by its crew. Nearly a year later an American whaler found it adrift, caught it, repaired it and returned it to England as a gesture of good will. When the Resolute was retired in 1880, Queen Victoria commissioned a desk to be made from the ship's timbers.

She then presented it to President Rutherford B. Hayes as a memorial to the courtesy and kindness of America in returning the ship to England.

The desk, known as the Resolute Desk, has been used by Presidents ever since.

Both Hub and I came from families in which our parents were avid collectors of antiques. We were instilled not only with the value of them but also their historical significance and taught to respect both. Had we a piece with the history of the Resolute Desk, we would have used it because it was meant to be used. We would also have respected it for what it was and how it was meant. That precludes propping one's feet on it!

It's a generational thing, perhaps. If true, it's a shame for we are losing touch with who and what we are. You see it daily in disdain for simple good manners. Sloppy clothes where dress is required. Hat's worn everywhere, often backwards,including restaurants. Often filthy.

I can't help but think as we grow more sloppy in our daily lives, the more acceptable it becomes, it's no wonder that even those who we choose to govern us are very much the same.

It's an indicator of what we are becoming. Self-absorbed narcissists with little consideration for others. We were angry with George Bush for side stepping the Constitution in the name of security. We're angry now with Obama and Congress for ignoring the wishes of the people.

It's really understandable when you look back at history and see how we're turning our backs on the very foundation that made us great.

Does anybody want to reset the direction? Does anyone care?


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