Tuesday, November 10, 2015

reflective thinking ...

i just realized that i'm older than i thought i was.  historical events that i learned about in school, events that i thought happened just FOREVER ago, really didn't happen in some other century.
they happened in my lifetime

i don't know what that came as such a shock to me, but it did

it happened first when i saw something on tv that said building began on the berlin wall in 1961.  the year before i was born.  for some reason, in my mind, i put the berlin wall and ww1 in the same filing cabinet.  i just never even considered that it was built in my lifetime.  we lived in Germany from 1969 to 1972 when i was a child we lived in West Germany.  i was seven years old, and the wall was just two years older than me

the fall of the wall in 1989, just 28 years after building began, i remember that very clearly, watching it on television, crying with all the people who were reconnecting with family that they hadn't seen in almost 30 years.  i was 27, and just never even conceived the thought that the world would have been (could have been) that divided within my lifetime.  it just didn't seem possible.

the Viet Nam war started when i was three.  i grew up on the music of the 60's and again, never made the connection to the start of the war happening within my lifetime.  we left West Germany so that my dad could serve a year tour in Viet Nam to help with the mop up ops and refugee relocation camps since he was an engineer.  i was very aware of the war ending in my 'era' but not that it started.

there are actually generations now that don't even know what i'm talking about, and who may not even ever learn of those events if some political and religious factions that push for censorship have their way.  (why?  hiding it doesn't change it, it just makes it more likely that we repeat our mistakes because we didn't learn from them the first time)

this afternoon it happened again while watching the news cover a memorial service for the SS Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in Lake Superior on 10 November 1975.  i guess because of the [song], i just thought that the Fitzgerald was an old whaling ship (not that there are whales in Lake Superior ... but there could be ... small ones ... it's THAT big)

it is funny how our perception of historic events is often skewed by our own age when those events happened.

the civil rights act. the first space walk.  the first heart transplant.  first microprocessor, internet, computer, test tube baby, space shuttle, play station, space station...

when i started looking at all the firsts that have happened since i was born, the list reached a point where inventions slowed.  there have been some significant new finds, like traces of water on mars in 2004, and amazing scientific advances, like the human genome project being completed in 2003.  but when you stop and look at the other events that were given more media attention since 2004 ... the death, disease, destruction, and disasters have multiplied exponentially.  the negative far outweighs the positive.

i know that there are some who attribute these events to 'end times' and i honestly don't know if that is what it is or not.  but i have to stop and wonder if part of it is because of the focus the media puts on negative events.  have we become so saturated with the four d's that we have become immune to them?  that they no longer shock us to our moral cores and instead are so commonplace in our lives that we have come to expect them?  does the media promote the fights, the wars, the bloodshed, the tears and emotions just for ratings?  because death sells?  is that what we have become?  a world more entertained by the dead and dying, than the excitement of new species, research, cures and the living?

if these aren't the end times ... i almost wish they were.  i think when we were a world that was filled with the adventure of living we were much more human than what we have become.

3 comments:

Thanks for stopping by and reading my words...

All comments are moderated, so they will not appear immediately.