We are snowbound here in northern Ohio. It is still coming down and the bows of the fir trees are weighed down with snow. As I sit here in my winter hibernation looking at the soft glow of the internet, my thoughts go the new year.
I worry about the future for my family, especially my new grandson. How was it that a little over half a century ago I though that the future would be filled with great things? In the early part of the sixties we sent up astronauts to explore new frontiers. I would get up early to watch the “blast offs” on TV. You could hop on a jet for a reasonable fare with full service and without barriers of screening, removal of shoes, and inspection of bags.
When I was in my early teens, I could take a bus with friends and go into New York City and go to a museum or play from my home town in New Jersey. The thought of any young child doing that today without an adult makes my heart skip a beat.
People left their doors unlocked and windows open. Today we pay for alarm systems for our home and cars and even on our finances and identities for fear of theft and more.
TV reception, like radio was for free. News casts were actually news and lasted for 15-30 minutes and did not back any political candidate. Growing up very little would be found as offensive on the media at that time. Sex was only a kiss. Violence was indirect and minimal and 90% the times involved the death of bad guys that just keeled over. Programing was directed for families. Now most people pay for TV and there are options to pay for XM radio. The news is opinion and it is not uncommon for the “talking heads” to mislead. You have to carefully monitor any media when it concerns children, because it is loaded with gratuitous visual violence that leads nothing to ones’ imagination and desensitizes us to what is gruesome and evil. Pedophiles troll on the internet for young victims. Growing up education opened doors to learning. Today schools teach political dogmas rather than math and reading. Any mention of God is deemed as wrong and evil and history is revised to suit political purposes than to be accurate. More children are illiterate today than half a century ago.
In the mid 20th century, whether our government leaders were a Republican or a Democrat, you felt that they held our best interests at heart. Not now. Our leaders shamelessly lie. The division is so sharp that divide us and you wonder if a civil war looms ahead or at best will destroy the country we once knew.
Violence is not only filling our nation, but threatens us with radical movements that want to wipe those that are not Muslim off the planet.
The world has become a very frightening place. No where is really safe when you think on past events that fill the 21st century.
I once thought that the future meant that we would learn from history and improve. That we would be explorers of wondrous things in every sense. That peace would fill this world as it would prosper with new technologies that would abolish hunger and ignorance.
Although there has always been evil acts in this world, there was a sense of good and evil. There was common sense. There was a spiritual sense. There were heroes to look up to. We believed in consequences for our actions. Now it seems what is good is evil and what is evil is good. Real dialogue has broken down and common sense seems to be as rare as hen’s teeth.
What I hope is that this will change. Like many periods of darkness in history there are periods of light like seasons. I pray that this winter of darkness and discontent is a short one and the light of spring is around the corner. Meanwhile I will light up candle and pray others do in this time of winter.