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Trader Joe's this morning
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My Trader Joe's opens at 8 a.m. and I like to go there first thing in the morning just as it opens. Fresh coffee and a set of regular faces gather round the pot.

Today the discussion centered around last night's debate, and though I was just shopping and sipping, I could hear the commentary all over the store. My, we old fogies do get excited about this election.

For the first time in two generations we have something, someone, to get excited about. And if this group is anything to go by, there will be many more of my generation voting again next month after years in the wilderness.

That's a good thing, because their talk centered around universal health care, consumer protection, alternate energy resources and several other topics dear to our hearts. I did not hear one bit of the slander and personal criticism; what I heard was vociferous back-and-forth on the things we truly care about.

I can only hope the little Trader Joe's group is a microcosm of the larger community. Perhaps it has finally sunk in that things will not automatically get better and better (a la Pangloss and Candide); that what we do as a species, a country, a community, a family and an individual is what will create the future we have to live in (Candide came to a similar conclusion). Like it or not, no man (woman) is an island, entire of itself.

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