Perhaps this is the first time, at least since World War II, that what we know is being challenged so fiercely. Given that Donald Trump is particularly unpredictable and the US is divided, that the Middle East and North Africa are immersed in violence and destruction, that Turkey is on the brink of chaos, that the terrorism of Islamic extremists is creating fear in both East and West, that the refugee and migration issue is taking on huge dimensions, that populism, nationalism and xenophobia are gaining ground everywhere, that Europe is facing the threat of disintegration, and Ukraine has been transformed into a hub of major tension, any kind of prediction regarding the shape of the world at the end of 2017 would be extremely risky.
Those are not my words, they’re written by a Greek journalist, Angelos Stangos, and appeared this week in Ekathimeri, Greece’s equivalent of The New York Times.
They do, though, rather succinctly sum up feelings I’m hearing expressed by just about everyone I know on this planet. Yes, there are some blissful souls who think the world is doing wonderfully as indicated by the Dow nuzzling 20,000, and others who see nothing but darkness ahead.
Personally, I see the Steelers in the playoffs. Though only the bookies may know for how long.
Do I sound uncaring or delusional? Well, to some for sure. But take a look at it from my perspective. I was a biology major when modern DNA research was its infancy, a chemistry minor when the periodic table was a dozen or so short of its elements, and a political science major when my professor assured us that the world would not come to an end in a galactic battle between the US and USSR, but in the Middle East (He never addressed the odds of it being a battle between the US and Russia over the Middle East…but stay tuned).
The bottom line to all of this is that I simply no longer have the time or inclination to drive myself nuts over the direction our world is taking. Yes, I have opinions and I express them, but then it’s on to what really matters, my family and friends, my writing, my flute playing…and anything else over which I have a modicum of control or influence.
Were I younger, I’d be back on those parapets grass-rootsing for change with all my heart. But for now, all I have is an interest in cheering on those willing to wage the good fight in the trenches. And if they don’t wish to do so…it’s their choice for it’s their future. I’m living my future, and enjoying it. And I expect to continue doing so no matter how much the bastards out there—elected and otherwise—might try to knock down my spirits.
|May 8, 1970---look it up.|
Happy New Year.