Monday, December 26, 2011

Do We Value Life?

I was listening to an oldies station on the radio while traveling during the Christmas weekend.   The song Ode to Billy Joe came on.  I was alone in the car and really listened to the words for probably the first time.  I have copied the first few lines for you.  Read them carefully and see if you notice what I did.

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"
'n' Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
"There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
'n' Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridg
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Do you notice how little regard the parents have for the loss of life?  They just talk about it casually as if the news had been 'rain in the forecast'.  I thought about that as I was driving.  How often do we do the same thing when we hear of a death? 

Do we really value life anymore?  Do we consider what the loss will do to the family?  Do we stop to consider the soul that left the earth?  Are we concerned with loss of life?

Now I realize that we cannot grieve for every person who dies.  We would be living in a perpetual state of grief.  But shouldn't the fact that a fellow human being died impact our lives on some level? 

These are my thoughts on the subject.  You are welcome to click 'comments' below this post and add your thoughts.
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