It’s easy to get disheartened with the state of the nation today. We seem to be sliding back to a time when the country was superficially in a decent state, but had deep divisions and even deeper oppressions of the underclasses and minorities. Whether you were black or Hispanic, gay or a woman, you suffered enormously at the hands of the white male dominated culture.
And it seems that we’re headed back in that direction. I’m here to remind you, we ain’t.
If anything, we’re looking at the last gasps of a patriarchy that will devolve more and more quickly. But evolution, which is what we’re undergoing currently, is an incremental process.
Look to the youngest adults in our society: there lies your future. There is where we can invest, both the good and the bad, our hope.
Gay marriage didn’t come around because people of my generation changed our minds. It came about because young people started speaking up to their parents about their gay friends, and started interacting comfortably with gay men and lesbians.
Similarly, immigration reform isn’t coming about because a boatload of immigrants washed up on our shores and changed everyone’s minds. It’s coming because this is what we perceive as the right thing to do, as our kids accept their Hispanic and other immigrant friends.
Marijuana legalization is next: not because hippies woke up and realized the needle on this issue hadn’t moved in generations, but because kids these day see marijuana as a part of their experience. It’s illegal, but not hidden; it’s illegal in plain sight.
Gun control is not far behind, altho there will be more resistance here because the gun rights lobby is just fucking nuts. These folks have grown up with Columbine and Sandy Hook Elementary and Trayvon Martin and literally hundreds of other mass shootings in schools and malls and movie theatres. They get it: guns have no, zero, place in polite society. I stress “society,” because no one is suggesting that you can’t keep a gun at home for protection. But hell, even Tombstone, Arizona required you leave your gun with the sheriff when you were in town.
These are all small steps on the road to an enlightened society, and I may – probably will not – see even these steps all completed in my lifetime (and I plan to live a very long time) but they are coming, and beyond that lies a road of even greater riches of both the body and soul for all of us.
We are mere data bits in a stream of information that will overwhelm and flood ignorance. Take heart in this.