Now What, America?
From a perilous past,
to a perilous future,
is there really anything new?
The "good, old days" are definitely old now, but were they really good days?
Looking back with clarity:
I was born at the end of the Great Depression. When I was four, the Japanese invaded China. When I was five, they attacked Pearl Harbor. When I was 10 two atomic bombs ended World War II. When I was a teenager the Korean War was making gun barrels glow in the dark from firing so many bullets so often.
Yes, looking back we can see colonial powers relinquishing their colonies; the creation of the United Nations, the use of penicillin, the perfection of the polio vaccine, and the first of a long list of technological devices that provide both instant communications and instant nonsense.
On balance, what tips the scales?
We still have wars with only new definitions. We still have religious intolerance, power hungry dictators, scams defrauding millions, new epidemics that catch on faster than medical science can catch up, and all the deadly sins plus some seemingly new ones.
Psychology tells us that the passage of time glosses over the bad memories and adds rosy colors to the good memories.
In that same way we can yearn for times when we could leave our doors unlocked, and a time when the robbers left and all the doors and windows still operated as before. It was rare that what remained was someone's body on the floor.
Those "good old days" memories encourage us to believe that better times are possible, and that the right leaders and the right united efforts can restore our societies to what we see as our halcyon days, days when unions made a difference, voters voted, representatives represented, there was an honest day's pay for an honest day's work, a man's word was his bond, families stayed together, and businesses paid faithful workers a decent pension after years of faithful service.
Come to think of it, those good old days" had a lot to recommend themselves, as well as a lot we hope we won't have to repeat.
What's on your wish list for 2017?
© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.