To the Editor:
I thoroughly enjoyed Lynne Hummell’s recent “ephemera” column. It reminded me of the moment long ago I learned the meaning of that word.
I had come across a beautiful menu from the cruise my parents had taken on their honeymoon (1930s) from New York to Bermuda. How elegant that menu was.
I started some research to see if there was any interest somewhere (e.g., the cruise line?) for the menu. In reply to my query, someone mentioned the word “ephemera.” I never went further with it and figured I might frame it to hang next to their honeymoon photo, taken on that ship.
That menu is still in my special memory box; I cannot toss it. The memory it evokes, the pleasure it brings from looking at it, even just once a year, when again trying to cull that box.
Another factor entering the equation could be family. I’ve none left (no parents, siblings or children). So, if I pass on to the Great Beyond before my mate, it’s left to him to toss that box. He probably won’t even pore through it, item by item, like I do on an annual basis.
During each culling I truly do finally say “Oh Lord, why am I keeping THIS?” and toss something. But there are just those menus/receipts/ticket stubs/article published of one of my work achievements/extra special sympathy cards sent on death of beloved parents/handwritten notes – on and on. It’s personal.
And though you may be the only surviving member of a family, it’s your history. If it’s important enough to keep in a memory box, to look at only once a year, and if it brings a smile and good memories, well … it ain’t taking up much real estate while I’m still here.
To the Editor:
The idea of living a life of trustworthiness in our society is currently under increasing attack.
As Americans, we have been taught to respect the qualities of trust, including good character, honesty and fairness. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we must deal with the many contradictions and challenges of fake news, social and media bias, alternate facts and “truth is not the truth.”
In “The Death of Truth,” author Michiko Kokitani explains it this way: “Too many people are gullible, stubborn and often in denial, willing to accept for truth that which suits their personal view-regardless of factual basis.” As an example, a recent Edelman poll showed less than 50% of Americans trust chief executives; yes, distrustfulness permeates society.
A key to this dilemma is understanding “foundational ethics,” says Kokitani, which encompasses four recognized qualities: trust, truth, honesty and fairness. Further, this level of ethical judgement can be applied to a person, religion, profession, group or country. In short, the level of trustworthiness.
So, how has society failed and how do we fix it?
Parents can start at home with foundational ethics as we raise our children and interact with our neighbors and friend, thus complementing our schools.
Citizens have the responsibility to speak out against distrust, lies and dishonesty.
Voters must not tolerate politicians locally and in Washington that violate the truth and their oath of office.
We all know what is right and correct. What we must do is actually live it in the Lowcountry every day. Trustworthiness begins with you and me.