My world, our world, has changed. Perhaps gradually but it seemed so suddenly or perhaps we just didn’t notice it passing. Many things we took as a given aren’t any more. Education or school was simpler. Walk there, maybe dad drops you off, one car families, many moms didn’t drive, as I recollect. After school play outside, enjoy family dinner together, homework, listen to the radio, TV was so new, as growing up proceeded on. Church was a given each week. It seemed too early and too long for non-school days. Dad and sometimes mom worked but Sunday drives and visits to grandma’s kept us all close. WWII gave us heroes and we looked up to dad, our knight in shining armor.
The sixties brought, if not rejection, certainly modification of our storied lives. Those we looked up to became the fallen and sometimes the drafted and also those who refused. The seventies saw more protests by young people, the end of a divisive war and a President resign. Changing values seemed key and few knights to be found. The eighties seemed to pop up so quickly with main frames, stock market surges, politicians praising business as the ultimate good, some people making gobs of money, others falling behind, protests gone, the times they were changing. Big dollars became big heroes. The lap top landed in the nineties. Sunday drives together vanished as multi-car families communicating with cell phones each went in different directions. Tech start-ups made billions, the welfare safety net developed wider webbing and those slipping through the cracks magnified. The contract with America was broken, outsourcing became a common word, the economy moving along and corporate America was moving overseas. Factories shutting down, small and large towns struggling for survival. The new century, the 21st began with geography lessons, Afghanistan, Iraq, and others, wars on credit cards, military reservists activated in huge numbers, the economy tanked and an African-American was elected President.
The end of the first decade of the 21st century slid into a decade that saw personal bankruptcies and foreclosures skyrocket, health care potentially for all rejected by some, wars from the last decade continue to take young lives but we’re told we are winning. The economy slowly coming back but with a massive separation between the have-some and those who want it all. Social media reaches out to billions, newspapers generally declined in numbers. The nation and the world suffer information overload, real, made up, well researched and out right fake, while we remain mostly uninformed. The ultimate business person or so he believes is elected president. The glorification of business CEO’s as our new knights reaches it’s career high while education suffers, workers see reemployment but not better jobs, the doors in our national and state Capitols are revolving between policy makers and bottom line business people. Guns are in, books are out and perhaps the myth of the all-knowing and honorable business leader is fading. We know we all coexist both good and bad, young and old, more and less educated, greedy and sharing but no knights in shining armor. Until we, all of us, realize we are in this life together and need to assist each other rich people,u working or poor people, men and women, native-born, immigrant, black, white or tan, the visions of our youth will remain the unfulfilled dreams of the elderly. Perhaps more nights than days filled this past 70 years. We need real knights in shining armor now or our nights will continue to outnumber our days. Heroes have always seemed to rise to the top to lead the crowd when needed in America. Now is the time.