“You know the good ole days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems” – Keepin’ the Faith by Billy Joel
Earlier this month, the picture below flashed through my twitter timeline. At that point,I had no frame of reference for this picture. I did not mentally connect this image to the #BringBackOurGirls social media movement. I had not seen the Michelle Obama picture which this photo parodied and I didn’t know who Ann Coulter was. It took me a few minutes of searching this morning to remember her name and find this picture. Other than watching Larry King, I haven’t spent any remarkable amount of time watching CNN since the network debuted back in the mid 1980’s. In short, when I saw this picture for the first time, I had no frame of social reference, it was just a lady holding up a sign.
My first reaction to this picture was, “Whose country does this person want to have brought back?”
My father taught me that people change about every 14 years. Basically, who we are shifts significantly in cycles that end around ages 14, 28, 42, 56, etc. No so much that we do a Jekyll and Hyde, but we evolve in our thinking and priorities and in how we view the world and the people around us. Over time, I have come to accept my father’s assertion as generally accurate.
I have also come to suspect that as a nation, America makes that same kind of transition of priorities and focus every seven to nine years. When America talks about the sixties, we are generally talking not so much about 1960 to 1969, but that period between 1965 and 1972 when we struggled with our national identity on so many levels. After that 1972 to 1980 was a cycle as was the eight Regan years of the 1980s. I suspect that the initiation and conclusion of wars reset that 7 year social clock, but that’s a whole different topic.
There are no unmixed blessings as America grows and evolves. Depending on where you sit on the national bus it changes to differing degrees simultaneously for the better and for the worse. We get this and we give up that, it’s the way it has been and it will continue to be that way. “So when I play the mental game of who’s America to bring back, I can’t think of a good solution. Would it be the 1950’s when racial segregation was the norm and 36,000 were killed or wounded in Korea? Umm No. Would it be the 1960’s when there was talk of peace and love while 57,000 Americans were killed or wounded in Vietnam? When was that golden era we would one harken to? Let’s face it, every decade sucked for someone in our country.
There are those that say that if we keep our eyes on God, we won’t have all this change. I think God intentionally put us on a planet that spins on its axis and he expects us to keep up. Change is the norm. The America prior to 2014 is gone. These are tomorrows good old days. We should probably try to make it a rule to be our best right now.