The Making of a Cynic
by Robert W. Schneider
For the most part, this is a true story: You go through life a normal person and then you decide it’s time to help your country or you become involved and start communicating with politicians. You develop the feeling that something is wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it. You just don’t feel right. Soon you are communicating with Washington but before long your enthusiasm starts to fade. You feel that you are right but nobody in the White House or Congress seems to share your enthusiasm.
Something has gone terribly wrong and your goals have receded into the shadows and a touch of cynicism has taken hold. Your enemy has become smaller and the politicians you once looked up to have lost their aura. Before long you notice they think less of their constituents and more of their own “magnificence.”
Welcome! You have missed a turn and arrived in the fairyland of politicians. Being new at this, your ideals have not changed; you are ready to change things. You notice that your sleep habits have changed….due to stress…
You discover that a citizen is trying to get an apology from Japan for its atrocities during WW II. About 1 ½ years later, you discover his program has been shut down as a result of a “suggestion” probably made by the president to Congress and the White House.
You think: “Perhaps I too am interested in getting an apology.” Up to now, 60 years have passed without your government getting involved and now you begin to understand that time is running out and there may be no apology. You think, “What is the word?” And it pops into your head, it’s “Indifference.” You think again and can’t believe what you have seen played out in this great institution. You have reached a fork in the road; a decision must be made.
Your decision is that your glorified position isn’t worth it so you choose to work for the people across the country and do what you really planned to do when you entered this hallowed institution. Shortly after that, you started to sleep better and constituents supported you for what you stand for and not because of any imagined power. You no longer received pats on the shoulder and other accolades but simple and sincere THANKS.
I think you will agree that it was worth it. A “thank you” is worth more than a false pat on the shoulder, shoe polish and brass polish and that you don’t need a constituent to ”finance“ a program in order to help him.
You had numerous chances to become another cynic but something said to you,”Turn and go the other way– and do it the right way.”
Footnote: Has this thought ever teased your mind? Where do I turn now that my president has blocked me and the STOP sign is in sight? This happens. Don’t those constituents need help?
Editor’s Note: Robert Schneider is a WWII veteran who has been trying to get an apology from Japan for war atrocities and for their attack on Pearl Harbor for well over a year. Before you dismiss this man and think it’s no big deal, consider this:
Japan has offered heartfelt apologies to every other country involved in WWII except the US. In fact, Japan apologized in April to the Philippines for war atrocities during WWII. Japan is our ally. I wonder why they refuse to apologize to the US and the many people who died or were injured or taken as POW as a result of that war. And I wonder why it seems to be okay with our government and people?