Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Living for the Past

Pick a meme or two about the past.  The fact is the past is often more than is in the meme.

Gotta love those nostalgia memes.  Yup we of the decades past lived charmed lives marked by carefree summer days, massive violent protests during Vietnam, a president who really should have been impeached, another who traded arms for hostages when "we did not accede to the demands of terrorists."  Depending on the decade, we had small pox, chicken pox, polio, AIDS, and a tobacco industry that hid how dangerous and addictive cigarettes were. We had the assassinations of a president, a presidential candidate, and civil rights leader, and the attempted assassination of two other presidents and plots to assassinate every president from Nixon on.  We had the court ordered busing because "black kids didn't belong in white schools." We had  a complete lack of information about the chemicals we were stuffing in our foods, DDT, a drug culture, and were much more likely to be hurt or killed in a car accident. We had  Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, the Bay of Pigs, the missiles of October, and the Red menace. We had gas lines and double digit inflation and unemployment. We had civil rights workers and African Americans being beaten, burned, bombed and murdered.  We had sit ins at lunch counters and on buses. We had stereotypes of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans,and the creation of the mythical "Welfare Queen." We had a much higher probability of dying from cancer, heart attack, stroke, AIDS, and a host of other diseases. We had a life expectancy of 67 to 70 from the 1950's and the 1980's. Yep it was a magical time, and it will never come this way again.  

 I loved those days, but we tend to forget the problems of those times too. Maybe we should just live in the present and try to make the best world we can now. I am not saying not to be nostalgic.  There have always been good times and bad.  We can live though without a rose colored rear view mirror and still miss the days of our youth.  We should never belittle another time because we have changed.  I for one am thankful for things like seat belts and was never in favor of beating a child with a belt.  I also wonder if the reason we worry more about kids being taken is because we are connected and able to protect children from predators who existed in the past too. We were not noble in that we didn't use cell phones or flat screens because we didn't have them.  We would have used them if we had. We had far more than the children of the 40's who had more than the children of 30's.  You cannot go back in time but then it wasn't all hearts and roses then either.