Mary Ann Ellis

Take a nice clean sheet of paper and your favorite pen. Sit at your desk or your kitchen table and prepare to think hard. Bring a hot cup of coffee to help you think. Now make a list of all the people you know who are truly honor-worthy. Need some help? After all, honor is one of those hazy English words with a multitude of ambiguous meanings. Mr. Webster defines a person who’s honor worthy as having a keen sense of ethical conduct, a good name or public esteem; one whose worth brings respect or fame; one who gives his word as a guarantee of performance and then stands behind it. Now make your list.

Okay, so you’ve got your father or mother on there—maybe both. Any body else? A friend or two and maybe a couple of other relatives? Do you have any local, state, or national politicians? How about the people you work with or go to church with? How about the person with the pen in his hand—you, me?

Once we get our lists made, let’s put them in the searing spotlight of the national media and examine each person’s life, especially our own. Can anyone stand up to that kind of examination? We all have skeletons in our closets, but some are smellier and rottener than others. Nonetheless, we try to hide them, no matter the state of decay.

We did quite a bit of traveling this year—Savannah for doctors’ appointments, Brunswick for doctors’ appointments, Waycross, Hazlehurst, Vidalia, etc. Yep. For doctors’ appointments. And of course you already know that I finished the year with a complete knee replacement. I had a lot of thinking time as I drove up and down various highways and byways. Larry slept or read as I drove. I listened to the radio and read the billboards along the way. They promised great prices on about everything, the best places to live, the best restaurants. Then came the signs proclaiming the best entertainment, the adult kind where “We bare all.” Immediately I thought of topless bars before I reconsidered the “all” and wondered what our cities have become. Those billboards seem to cluster closer to the cities, but I’m not so naive that I believe such fun doesn’t exist out in the more rural areas.

I remember Calvin telling me when his boys were still little, “Mom, be careful what the kids watch,” Calvin said. “Some of those cartoons are not suitable for children.”

I remember when all cartoons were suitable for children, were intended for their entertainment, as a matter of fact. Those days are no more.

Back in those days, Will toddled about and called the 80-lb barking Bentley “kitty cat.” Bentley slept with Trey and Jakey, who wrapped him in the Spiderman blanket and provided him with pillows and lots of hugs. But unfortunately, much of the innocence is gone. They grew up and went to school. Were all of their teachers honor worthy? I doubt it. They got phones and social media. An honor worthy device? I’m afraid not.

I see billboards that provide pregnancy hotlines—some offer to save the unborn baby and some hint at other solutions. How honor worthy is killing children?

As I drive, I ponder the state of our society 2022. We demand that our politicians be moral and raise a ruckus when they are caught in extra-marital affairs. We scream that they are liars and thieves deceiving the public. Actually, they are accurate reflections of the society they represent. How many of us on those lists we made could stand up to close examination? If we expect honor worthy candidates when we as voters are less than honor worthy ourselves, we are blind. We, the people, need to do a bit of cleaning around our own back doors, and then we can demand better representation. Until then, we have what we deserve.