The winds of change…

… are blowing like a figurative hurricane.  Bob Dylan was right. But then he usually was. Sometimes I wish I could find an equally figurative wise piggy’s house of bricks and settle in until the storm passes and the wolves are no longer at the door.

Asteroids and meteorites crashing to earth. Insane weather, serious political unrest, terrorists and then the Pope up and quits his job, something that happens only every 600 years or so. Granted, his resignation has made the Internet a far more interesting place in the short term. Loving conspiracies as I do, I’ve learned more about the prognostications of the Saint Malachi, the 12th‑century Archbishop of Armagh than I thought, as an agnostic, I’d ever need to know. Call it the luck of the Irish, but he’s been right more often than wrong—and if you believe the bookies, he may pull it off again.  Granted, of all the stories floating out in the conspiratorial ether, my personal favorite is that the aliens are returning to earth to tell us there’s no God and Benedict wants off the papal throne before that particular form of merde hits the fan.

We may have passed the Mayan calendar countdown without a hitch—but that hasn’t changed what appears to be a seemingly contagious global end times countdown.

For some reason, these current events have made me think about all the change that was supposed to happen, but never did. Technological innovation that was supposed to make for a more leisurely life but unfortunately failed to factor in corporate greed.  International communication capabilities designed to shrink our differences and make us more able to understand each other, which turned into plain old spying.  When we were young and less weary and cynical, my generation wanted change. We wanted better. We believe in peace and harmony and wanted to buy the world a Coke®.  And that’s not sarcasm. Sadly, things look a lot worse than they did in the 1970s. I remember walking into the lobby of the United Nations building in New York in 1977, part of my prize for being a decent public speaker and getting good grades. If any group could pull off a better world, it should have been these peers of mine, all the best and brightest –and at that point, untarnished by life.

But it didn’t happen. And the gen-Xers and Millennials can whine all they want about how we sold out, but the truth is, I don’t know one person from my personal demographic who’s living all that large. Most of us of us have spent a lifetime being moving targets for job cuts and outsourcing, and are now focused on trying to stick a few bucks away so we’re not a burden in our old age or forking out cash to ensure that our children have an education or at least don’t need to take up residence in a refrigerator box under some bridge.

It’s not our fault the challenges got a lot bigger.

No, we didn’t change the world, but perhaps we changed ourselves. We’re better educated than most of the generations behind us, more aware, more confident in speaking up. More often than not, we’re consciously open-minded liberal thinkers, influenced by the 60s protestors who were just a bit older than us. We’re good voters. We’re proud of our rebellion from the status quo, even if it’s become subtler over the years.

We’re agents of change, even if we’re not showy about it. And if any group of people has the brains, guts and penchant for gallows humor to acknowledge and come sailing through the mess we’re in now—it’s us.

All we need is a catchy theme song.


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