Thursday, December 29, 2011
New Years 2012 - the Good worth fighting for!
Baseball. Apple pie. The American dream.
Those were the days? ....
As I flip the calender to a New Year - 2012 - I reflect on growing up in a seemingly more innocent America and I get nostalgic with a tinge of sadness. Many songs express these feelings, as one of my favorites made popular in 1968 - Those Were the Days - sung in this video clip below.
Those were the the days, my friend.
We thought they would never end ...
Not so long again, October 2011, I wrote a blog: America in Decline?! The news has been (and still is) bad for so long that it has affected the national psyche. Even global tweets in twitter show we are depressed: Is Twitter Showing We're Depressed?
And I find myself getting older, but not wiser?
How did that happen?
Let's go back to the "Good Ol' Days" - 1983
I wrote a poem some 30 years ago, which I had posted more recently on my web page: here. Back then, I had been a little then depressed - it was raining - and I was between jobs. In 1983, the country was still in a deep recession as we were just starting to pull out of a national malaise. And I had written this poem to express my feelings - looking back to my more optimistic school days,
Lamenting the "Good Ol' Days"
The past is gone
The future dim
What could have been!
As the rain
Blows in wind
We yearn the sun
That could have been!
Time wears away
As the rain
That pounds and drips
Against the pane ...
What could have been!
Dare we say --
Will be the 'morrow
Which is today?
(C) 1983 by S. K. Smith
But after 1983 came ...
It was an ominous sounding year with the ring of disaster thanks to George Orwell's novel - 1984. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. Yet in 1984, the national spirits and the economy took off. It would not be an exaggeration that in 1984, it was - Morning, again, in America.
Now at the doorstep is ...
Like 1984, 2012 sounds like an ominous year. Some ancient prophesies predict a year of disasters. According to the Mayan calender - December 21, 2012 will be the "End of Time" (Also, reference: 2012 Mayan Predictions ) And there was the 2008 disaster movie - 2012 Doomsday.
2012 has become the new Y2K (2000).
The Future dim?
We survived Y2K - whose predicted disasters did not live up to the hype. With the turn of the new Millennium, The Lord of the Rings trilogy made it to the big screen in its latest version, starting in 2001. After the unpredicted disaster of 9/11, the story offered hope for the future as the protagonists faced and overcome overwhelming evil. One of my favorite speeches comes near the end of the second movie in the trilogy - The Two Towers (2002):
Looking back to stories in the past gives me hope for the future. There have been many dark days in our history. Like in the Lord of the Ring trilogy, the real life hero and heroines had many chances to turn back, but they did not. All were hanging on to the hope that there was some good in this world worth fighting for.
These stories still inspire me and we have their stories easily accessible to review in many forms of media. Here is a sample of some of those stories - with video links:
* The Revolutionary War
During the dark days when the "Glorious Cause of America" seemed lost, George Washington never gave up: George Washington insights
* The War of 1812
During the Battle of Baltimore and the fierce British bombardment of Fort McHenry, it looked like the United States would lose its "Second War of Independence." Great Britain had offered us an easy out if we took down our colors and surrendered. But we did not. Then enemy gave it everything they got. Against the odds, we prevailed. This battle inspired Francis Scott Key who wrote the words that became our national anthem: The Star Spangled Banner Story
* The Civil War
During those very dark days, it seemed the United States would dissolve, especially after the terrible losses such as at the Battle of Gettysburg. But Abraham Lincoln reminded us of the good that was worth fighting for: The Gettysburg Address
* World War Two:
During the dark days as Europe was succumbing to Hitler's juggernaut, Sir Winston Churchill reminded his people and allies as the United States that Christian civilization was worth fighting for: Their Finest Hour Speech
* The Cold War
During these dark days, it seemed communism was gobbling up the free world, imprisoning millions under dictatorial regimes behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains. Yet, Ronald Reagan reminded us that freedom was worth fighting for: A Time for Choosing
As in the stories above there is still Good in this world and ...
it is worth fighting for!
Fight the good fight of faith ...
1 Timothy 6:12
(King James Version)
Previous New Year's posts:
New Year's Lessons from Gilligan's Island (2010)
Eucatastrophe for 2010? (2010)
New Year's Resolutions and Blue Monday - the cure (2009)
Photo from Wikipedia Commons: Americana