My grandparents have always talked about the good old days, the 1950s, when stuff was cheap, money was sound, there was a sharp distinction between right and wrong, and The Golden Rule ruled. Oh, and the rival political parties had a bit more in common, and perhaps had more of a desire to really help the people they serve.
My grandparents have a clear memory of a time when things were better. They have something to hold onto, a past memory of better times. That’s great for them.
But lately I’ve been thinking about my experiences and my memories and those of people younger than I. How will we know what to strive for in order to make a better world when our memories are only of evil and control and power over our lives? Maybe I’ll be able to remember the good times my grandparents talked about, and have something to strive for, but what about all the kids coming up who won’t have that frame of reference?
What kind of society will this new generation be building if they don’t have the memories of freedom, of peace, of prosperity, of compassion? With this generation’s memory bank full of only tyranny and scarcity and meanness and control, the coming generation won’t have a frame of reference that includes freedom and fairness and compassion.
Are human beings programmed to yearn for freedom? Do we have in our souls a natural capacity for compassion and fairness toward others? I hope so, because without this natural capacity, we’re left with only our frame of reference of how things have been within our recent memory.
If there is no inherent capacity in us toward freedom and compassion, we’re probably really screwed. What kind of example has been set for these kids coming up after me? Is the example of living off the government and deferring to governmental authority good for them? Does that kind of experience foster a sense of freedom for this generation? Do drone assassinations of innocent people in foreign lands give them a feeling of compassion for their fellow human beings?
My mom has said she fears getting old and having to be put in a facility where these kids now coming up are charged with her care. Will these caregivers have a reverence for life and a respect for her wellbeing and compassion for her age or illness? Will these new adults in charge of her care REALLY care about her, or will she be looked at as a thing, not respected as a fellow human being? Consider the CARE she and millions like her could possibly get under these circumstances.
Will I wake to find the sun? As before will life shine again? All that was known is no more, is no more.
MFOH wrote these lyrics in talking about Noah’s experience of surviving the great flood. But humans are now trying to survive this new great flood of oppression, along with the possible erasure of our human memory of more equitable and fair and freer times. Let’s hope we have, in our cells and souls an inherent desire for freedom and fairness and compassion. Because our future frame of reference could quickly become one of our slavery by those in control, and callousness toward our fellow human beings.