Tuesday, August 01, 2006


so much pessimism these days ... there must be a lot to be pessimistic about. Especially sitting here on the west coast, where according to the majority of people I talk to, the world is going to hell. Strange, it looks a lot more like heaven here to me. Of those things people continue to fight about worldwide, I see scant evidence here. When I hear "Unprecedented" I'm seldom disappointed by the following adjective about this country: unprecedented wealth, unprecedented freedom, unprecedented opportunity ... Whence does all the worry stem?

It's a bunch of rebels without causes. All those kids of the sixties, all those ex-hippies who are at the controls today transform our national culture faster than ever before by insisting on not getting old, not getting stodgy, not falling behind the latest trend. Sure, like their parents, they want a good life, a comfortable life, a safe life. But they have higher aspirations. Those elements are the floor of their culture-house, not the steeple. My grandparents fought for survival and quested for comfort for their families. My parents took comfort for granted, fought for independence and quested to deliver their families into luxury. Both generations succeeded, goals reaching ever higher as the generations stand on the shoulders of the precending. And no evidence of the same ceasing with my generation - the perpetual kids of the original perpetual kids. We want to, but find it hard to out-cool our parents, to out-speed, out-drug, out-spend, out-rebel. And we feel just the slightest bit inadequate. They invented rock. We just listen to it. They marched and changed the world. We just talk about it. We don't see that our goals are again higher, our contributions again building on those of our forebears. We don't know where we'll go. But maybe we should start thinking about it. Without goals, we're gonna get nowhere.

But to take a step back, let me marvel at how beautiful it is we have the right to do so. That's what our grandparent's grandparents fought for ... and won for us.

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