Growing up in Michigan was a treat of sorts. Mixed treat. It was a time that education was more than valued but bordering on priceless and had a string of Universities stretching all over the state that gave us all a choice and a potential to pursue what we wanted or thought we needed. A lot of the petty political struggles were over-ridden by the national calamity that was Vietnam and the draft coupled with the civil rights issues that sat pretty much on top of everything. It wasn't conceivable that the black population had a rough go of it until we got educated about the problem and presented with a solution.
So why this on this fine Sunday morning as there are a thousand topics that are, well, topical. Romney is getting beat like a rented mule and the beater isn't much of a prize either. The world and the nation are in the petty squabbles and big wars, riots and ignorance mode, where black is white and white is some shade of grey. Human vignettes are replaced by movements and wholesale struggles and I think that is the key to my remembrance of all this.
There is a certain grounding that a trip to nowhere special to find a monument (historical marker) on a fairly out of the way pond, with a family that was as desperate as night and day in interests. My dad found the sign for my mom. My mom read the book so she could tell the story. I got to see a railroad station (train tracks are a passion) that actually ran through our backyard at the far end of the line. That was education of being human and sharing - something in powerfully short supply nowadays.
We might get some perspective on things by learning broadly and not being confined by intolerances small and large. We can still think about the big stuff but we can also find a way to put it aside for a few, gaze at a marker, cast a fly into so still water and think of Nick and getting thrown off a train and finding yourself there.