Sunday, January 29, 2017

New year good time for reflection

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 28, 2016)

Although the start of a new year is completely arbitrary, it's still a good time to reflect on the past year, and look toward the future.

Of course, any day is a perfect day for doing so.

Just remember: it's easy to look at the past and see only the good, or only the bad.

Every year holds both, just as does every era in history.

I understand people looking back at parts of their own life with nostalgia. I do it too. "If only I could go back and..." seems to be a universal human thought. Yet when I really think about it, I remember that, besides the parts I dream of reliving, there were things I am glad are over.

The same is true on a global scale.

Many people seem to long for a return to a mythical "Golden Era"-- a past where they imagine the things they miss now were commonplace. Those with nationalist sentiments want to go back to a time when America was great and was the undisputed Shining Light on a Hill. Those who focus more on the religious aspects may long for a time when everyone went to church several times each week, had similar morals, and at least claimed to value what is absent from modern society. Often, both are embodied in an idealized 1950s America.

Honestly, there was no "Golden Era" to return to. Some of the past was wonderful and worthy of emulating; some was horrible and needs to be condemned. You are better off copying the good things about the past, adding them to the good things about the present, and trying to come up with even better things in the future.

It's easy to forget the past was full of aggression, war, slavery, bigotry, and cruelty. So is today, but in most cases, even more of all those things existed in the past. You overlook the bad parts of those bygone times when you focus on what you don't like about the present.

In spite of the fear mongers, the world has-- in general-- never been less violent. It is getting better, in spite of the bad guys, and it will continue to do so. Don't let those who point out the exceptions cloud your perception of reality.

So, while it may be pointless to dream of returning to a golden past, let's all work on making the future a little more golden than today. Happy New Year!


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Demanding equal oxygen

I'm all for women's oxygen. Men have oxygen- why shouldn't women have it, too?

Of course, I suppose you could point out that the same oxygen surrounds us all, and if anyone deprives any other person of oxygen-- man, woman, child, "non-citizen", believers in bizarre and violent superstitions, whatever-- then the person withholding the oxygen is violating them.

Oxygen belongs to everyone equally. And, it's all the same. There aren't different varieties of oxygen for different people-- even the isotopes of oxygen don't get doled out differently.

By using oxygen you aren't depriving someone else of oxygen-- you would be depriving yourself of oxygen at the same time.

Yes, everyone's oxygen is equal and identical, and no one gets to decide who gets to use it and who doesn't. If someone tries to deprive you of oxygen, you have every right to defend yourself from them, even with deadly force if they refuse to go away.

Women, being humans, have the same oxygen as anyone else. It can't be otherwise. It's pointless to protest for oxygen-- just breathe and use it.

Oh, wait... I didn't mean oxygen, I meant rights.


This blog, like all of, is reader supported. 
Any donations or subscriptions are GREATLY appreciated! Thank you.