Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

The other day, I had a pit in my stomach and had one of those feelings one gets when they are embarrassed or feel like they’ve just witnessed a situation they wish they could un-see.

I was thrilled to realize I could still feel deeply and thoughtfully. It meant that I have not yet become inured to the callousness and cruelty that we are subjected to on a daily basis. I’m glad I can still feel compassion, empathy and caring for others.

Once I had that brief epiphany I felt a sense of relief at my own discomfiture. I wondered if anyone else was having similar thoughts or feelings. I’m not sure I’ll ever know that, but I’m glad that I haven’t completely lost some naiveté and ideals or my hope for our human race. I have to believe I’m not the lone ranger in this regard. That thought is what gives me some measure of hope.

We haven’t had a lot to be proud of or to feel secure about lately. I don’t like to hear people called names or denigrated in the public arena, or private arena for that matter. I don’t like bullies practicing their craft with impunity. I don’t like hearing people with the power to affect change openly admit they want to destroy the institutions that make our country the United States of America.

I don’t like to hear the salacious details of predatory behaviors of men who hold their power over vulnerable women to salve their egotistical shortcomings. I don’t like being lied to. I don’t like hearing communities discussing the need for lethal weapons in the school setting.

While not pleasant, I’m glad I can still feel uneasy and slightly sick to my stomach when witnessing the above.

With nuclear war a possibility in ways at least two generations have never considered, I want to see careful, calculated discussion and persistent diplomacy. The numbers of those who remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki are dwindling.

The same for those of us who remember the brinksmanship of the Cuban missile crisis and how one miscalculation could have changed the world’s landscape.

I want to hear the most powerful individual in the world speak to all of us using words and tone that inspire. I want to hear a hopeful vision and plan for healthcare, tax reform and civil discourse. I want to hear thoughtful ideas about how to make our government institutions work, not how to destroy them.

I want to see the powerful lend a hand to the vulnerable, not slap them down further. I want to see school boards focus on reading, writing and arithmetic, and provide a vision of hope to the students, not focus on disdain that fosters fear. Children encouraged to learn and dream are less likely to bully or shoot their fellow classmates.

I want these feelings of unease and discomfort to go away; but only because the situations that cause them are lessening – not because I’ve lost my ability to care or feel compassion. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (