My son and I were recently returning from a trip visiting my parents. They live outside of Atlanta. We spent the week. It was lovely.

During that week, however, our nation was inarguably spinning and reeling. The impeachment hearing was well underway and the news of the loss of Kobe Bryant furthered our nation’s anxiety and dower temperment.

As we sat in the Delta Sky Club patiently awaiting our flight, I did so intently observing unknown faces — all doing something, pushing their lives forward, going somewhere. Many looking haggard, not unlike the rest of the country. Have you noticed this too? The worn down faces and physiques of the U.S. people?

“Baffling”, it is not. At 53 years of age, there is no doubt in my mind that our current trajectory continues to move us further and further away from that which humanity innately seeks — internal and external peace. We live in the “struggle” and are paying the price for doing so both individually and as a nation. Consider the following, all of which are adding to our ailment:

1. How overlooked and under-valued our nation holds the wisest among us (irreplaceable resources) simply because the rest are too young to know what they got.

2. How those who have food, shelter, clothing, freedom, security, employment, and family, still have to be reminded to be grateful.

3. How frivolous so many are with their thoughts knowing that “the quality of your thoughts determines the quality of your life.”

4. How we spend the first half of our lives achieving things in search of happiness and the second half, letting those same things go in pursuit of the happiness we still haven’t found.

5. How pushing away problems, naturally increases our obsession with such problems and yet we continue to do so, knowingly.

6. How closely tied “convenience” and “isolation” have become, even when in the company of others.

7. How struck we are that kids today aren’t happy, when they are only emulating us, a nation full of unhappy parents and influences.

8. How our society values one type of intelligence over all others, the very same intelligence that is causing most of our nation’s problems.

9. How we are taught from the moment that we are born “to stay in the box” and how life pushes us out of it every chance it gets.

10. How our nation has removed the very elements from our education system that will ultimately save humanity, calling them unimportant.

I marvel at all of these, wondering when so many of us as well as our nation will begin to take life seriously — showing our own humanity the respect, deference and thought it deserves.

We are all so eager to judge, argue, and throw away the once-in-a-lifetime chance we’ve been given to truly live, connect, and maximize our time here. And what do we have to show for it?

The next time you walk through an airport (or down the street for that matter), just look around. There…lies your answer.

We need to get smarter and wiser still.

In the coming months, I will further address these points through more comprehensive posts. Look for them.