Cross-posted at The Progressive Pulse.
Be careful what you wish for. I’ve always thought it would be cool to live in a historic time. For instance, I’ve always been slightly jealous of people who came of age in the 1960’s. The 60’s were riotous, radical, and revolutionary. Vietnam, civil rights, John and Martin and Bobby, Woodstock, Kent State, Haight-Ashbury and the Summer of Love, tie-dyed psychedelia...
...and then there was the music...
Me, I graduated from high school in 1977. If there is a less memorable period than the late 70’s and 80’s I’m not familiar with it. Bad hair (feathered mullet), bad clothes (polyester leisure suits), bad music (Bread, Bee Gee’s, England Dan and John Ford Coley), bad dancing (disco), bad TV (The Love Boat, The Brady Bunch), and bad miscellanea (pet rocks, mood rings, and Pong).
So clearly I have good reason to have decade envy. The 1960’s were the most notable decade for America since World War 2. Until now, that is. I suspect that generations from now, American historians will look back on the millennial decade and say, “What the hell were you people thinking?”
I believe that our decade will be remembered for our handling of two very different problems. The first is the so-called “Clash of Civilizations” between Islam and the West; and the second is climate change. Will history judge that we over-reacted to one crisis and under-reacted to the other? Will we be able to say that we acted bravely, wisely, and humanely? Will we be able to say that America was part of the problem, or part of the solution? Will we have thought globally, and acted locally?
These are historic times, alright, and not in a rose-colored granny glasses nostalgic sort of way. It’s easy to get caught up in the politics of the moment, but events are happening now that are moving these crises decisively forward. We may realize too late that a tipping point has occurred, and all we have left are a limited number of grave options.
Will we be able to tell our grandchildren that we did everything we could? (Hint: just noting that you didn’t vote for that guy either time is not going to get you off the hook.) Be careful what you wish for...living in historic times is not all it's cracked up to be. History reminds us that we have obligations and that we will be held accountable.
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