Transforming Today's World Magazine Volume 4 Issue 1 - Page 46

There were no computers, no Video Games, no Internet, no MTV. We just had to deal with reality; and FEEL…and try to deal with the pain. But how DID we deal with the pain? I know I spent days writing a hand written letter to Mrs. Kennedy, and was fortunate to receive a hand signed Thank-You letter. I am sorry to say, that letter was lost through the years - it would have been amazing to print. But I will never forget the sick feeling in my stomach and the endless tears that were cried for many months to come. On that fateful day, I believe we changed as a nation. I believe... we never recovered. I have my own theory on how the American family began to decay. We were not prepared as a country to suffer the enormous loss of President Kennedy’s assassination. Think about it; Television covered the look AND sounds of that trauma. In the forties there was only radio - any traumatic coverage was auditory - not visual. How does a country deal with an unforgettable live image of a beautiful grief stricken widow and her two small children? How does a Nation deal with a tiny little boy saluting his dead father? Our countries' residents were mourning at profound levels. We had all unknowingly bought into the illusion of “Camelot.” Jackie had become a fashion icon, President Kennedy was handsome and someone’s “Daddy,” as well as President of the United States. We didn’t want to know the truth behind the illusion. Whether you were a Democrat or a Republican, the dream was alive and well and had won over the hearts of the American people. Now who was going to deal with the grief and depression of the American people? Think about it; we as a Nation suffered a catastrophic death. There was no grief counseling, no way for the general public to process the emotional pain and loss. I personally feel this nation went into a deep depression and and began to detach from real feelings. When grief is not dealt with head on it can produce life long side affects such as Alcoholism, Depression and an inability to cope with reality. There is a sense of hopelessness, numbness, disassociation, etc. Without proper coping skills people will go to any lengths to numb the pain. IE: enter the seventies and, oh, yes; THE EIGHTIES! THE decade of excess; Sex, drugs, and Rock n’ Roll! The “anything goes” decade. At the moment we could have stepped up and dealt with reality, we jumped head first into debauchery. You remember what happened to The Roman Empire!? Well, in my opinion, the eighties were not much different. You had Donna Summer singing about being a Prostitute, promiscuity was a way of life, Coke was no longer a drink but a drug, and Aids rose it’s ugly head and claimed the life of millions. But did we pay attention? I don’t think so. Question: “Can a Nation suffering major depression deal with reality without proper help?” Did we even know there was a problem? Where did the grief go - how was it processed? Where did the Americans of the sixties go from there? Did the baby boomers and their children leave the pain and sorrow behind, or did they drag their bag of broken “ dreams into the future? Well, I believe the repressed grief stricken Baby boomers of the sixties, jumped into the eighties with a vengeance! HEY!...If it feels good-do it! If it numbs the pain do it! If you can watch MTV and do Coke-do it! After all, it's all about ME-isn't it? Ah, the eighties...The “me-me” society. The rise of big new - age money. The rise of excess to the max. You were as big as your house or your Ferrari. There was the the American Dream; distorted, running, numbing, ignoring-just doing what felt good. Your personal worth was now calculated by your NET WORTH! But what about the children? I believe the eighties was the subtle moment in time when we shifted the focus from intimacy to achievement and materialism. The family focus was monetary wealth-and as long as you could send your child to the best private schools, live in the best home, drive the best new car, you were OK! How do I know? Because I lived it. Thank - God I was spared from the drug scene. I was lucky; I went through the sixties thinking people were crazy for ingesting some foreign substance into their system. I believed it then, and I believed it in the seventies, eighties, nineties and the New Millennium. And I was in the entertainment industry in the seventies and eighties! That life style would have been easy to live and embrace. I performed Rock Concerts, did