Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.
I first heard this expression twenty two years ago, while learning how to manage my life. I learned how to live one day at a time. It has been hard to follow this particular lifestyle. Below, I offer an explanation to as to why I have problems with the quote above and one day at a time.
I know the past is gone, but we should cry over it because there is so much that can be learned from it. I have studied history all of my life. It first started with my father and kitchen table conversations. He had lived through the Prohibition, the Depression, both World Wars, the Korean conflict and Vietnam War. Because I was born on July 4, he made sure that I memorized the Declaration of Independence. Belief in God and love for country were to two parts of his mantra. That is why the fourth paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is so important to me.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”
And the following verse.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
I remember being taught in grade school that many of the early settlers of our country came in order to escape religious persecution. By the time I got to college the new teaching method was to get students to question everything which was I started to leave my naivete about this county. In college while studying s ancient history, I had a professor whose last name was Astur. He taught us that although dates were importance he wanted us to concentrate on the significance of the events. I studied ancient history so I would understand biblical times because I wanted to enter the theology. However, I would never fulfill my dream job.
I would consider my father a patriotic man. However, I think not serving his country during World War II weighed on him. But when he notified his employer that he received a draft notice he was informed that he was needed in the factory because he was employed by an essential war industry. Citizenship was very important to him; he made sure I was aware of right and duty to vote and serve on jury duty. Our relationship took a heavy hit during the Vietnam War. I was against it and he thought his country could do no wrong. That was until May 4, 1970. That was the date of the Kent State Massacre. A day in Ohio National Guardsman opened up on some students protesting against the war in Vietnam.
My father, who worked in a war industry during World War II, told me of a notion that the Nazis used in World War II. That notion was referred to as the fifth column. The fifth columnist as they were concerned in the early forties for the allies. The fifth column occupied a foreign country and recruit future members of the party to sabotage the political system and governmental works. After the war the United States became a superpower. And like other super powers throughout history the United States became a military power when it had so much more to offer.
Fast forward seventy years. There is less emphasis on church and more on shopping or some sport activity with the children. We live in a throwaway society. Values, history, and heritage are all easily tossed in the trash. When I was growing up God, Country and family. Families got together for holidays and birthdays. Marriage was meant to be forever. Now the importance of those values has diminished. Everybody is in a hurry.
I believe the high speed society is a result of the development of Information Technology. One of the inventions in the early 1980s was the personal computer, which heightened interest in the digital age. I had been working in Information Technology by four years. The Internet started in the 1960s by the US government. Originally used for academia it became widespread by the 1990s. As interest grew in the Internet, the popularity of personal computers exploded prices dropped. When I first bought a PC all a person needed, was a telephone connection. Then came high speed networks the individual user chose between satellite and cable networks. Then you needed a firewall and then all sorts of hardware and software protection. Hacking, phishing, and id theft grew rampant. A device known as the mobile phone was developed, which added wireless technology and allowed people to become unplugged from the grid. Mobile phones have now technologies such as digital photography, and texting.
Every thing has to be done instantly. After forty-two years in the business I decided to professionally unplug from IT. A heart attack occurred ten months before was enough encouragement for me to slow down. Instead of instant meals that take very little time to cook in a microwave we are using fresh vegetables and less salt. Instead of buying meat in a supermarket I make a trip to a butcher shop every three months.
When I retired, I wanted to read and writing. My hopes were to write short stories and a novel, but since the November 8 election my interest has turned to essays and personal opinion.
My vision of the future after the election of 2016 was fairly gloomy. I am proud that there are citizens in this country willing to stand up enough for their beliefs and are willing to protest. I just wish I was healthy enough to join them. The problem is that with the hint of Russian interference in our election I wonder how Putin would go to stabilize Trump’s reign. Any hint of any kind of influence by any foreign should have provoked Congress to stop the inauguration until he was cleared. I hope this nation survives the next four years.