I was talking about constants last week in one of my posts called "Faith and the Fair." I also talked in one post about visiting with Dr. Richard Benjamin, a New York writer, for a day. One of our conversations dealt with the perspective a lot of us in this area have. We tend to be the last hold-outs who believe in our institutions----and naively so. We crumble easily when those long-trusted institutions fail us. I told Rich I was admittedly naive to a lot of the hard-core, sleazy ways of the outside world.
I choose to be naive because to do otherwise takes too much time and energy away from the constants that sustain me like my animals, the natural world around me and my family. Plus, I choose to believe and to cling to the good in all beings until learning differently.
This conversation with Rich came up while telling him about those of us in Sandpoint who get downright hurt when people dismiss us by failing to establish eye contact, avoiding simple greetings like a wave or a hello, never saying thank you, or just plain thinking we're too stupid to have wisdom on any worldly subject.
Occasionally, that world outside of Sandpoint or even in our own midst comes slapping at us, letting us know that not all is picture perfect in our perceptions of trusted institutions. Those of us who are lifelong Catholics know the pain of learning that a lot of those holy folks telling us how to live our lives were living their own lives of deceit. Many of us struggle with that as we move along through life feeling continued sadness that one of the core institutions guiding us through our formative and young adult years was filled with extreme hypocrisy.
I feel the same sadness about the startling revelations reported yesterday about our United States Senator Larry Craig. Larry Craig served as ASUI president the year I was a senior at the University of Idaho. From that time on, I followed his career and steadfastly believed in him as a person who represented Idaho's best interests as he served our state in the U.S. Congress.
I did not know all the rumors about the Senator that some folks of a more worldly nature suggest were common knowledge. I'm just one of those dumb Idahoans who naively figured he was a good guy, just like the Catholic priests who taught us our moral and religious principles. After all, they were guided by God; they had to be good. I kinda felt the same about the Senator.
Silly me. One more time a hypocrite has been exposed and in such a seedy manner. The salacious details of Sen. Craig's arrest are bad enough, but his subsequent efforts to whitewash his arrest by pleading guilty and then saying he should have hired a lawyer before pleading guilty and that his overtures in the bathroom stall were misconstrued reek of a desperate soul.
We've read about many other desperate souls in positions of power and privilege who've bitten the dust, but most of them have come from the somewhere else's of our world. We live in Idaho where we prefer to think that sleaze, deceit and wiggling your way out of nasty fixes is a somewhere-else problem. Sadly, we're beginning to learn that the somewhere elses and their influences have come home to roost in what we always believed was a relatively safe haven from the ugly side of the world.
Our naivete will continue to haunt us as we scratch our heads one more time and wonder where we can place our beliefs. When will the next trusted leader bite the dust with some lurid revelation? How close will it come, and how much more of our trust in our institutions dissipate when that happens? Soon, we'll be just like the somewhere else's, and then there will be good reason not to smile.
Definitely lots to think about this morning as we digest yesterday's news.