I've been hearing a good deal about the good old days and wondering seriously when the hell people are referring to. I mean, really, when are the good old days? As far as I know, the only constant in life is, and has always been, change. This has been known since the good old days of Heraclitus.
Meryl Streep charmingly gave the commencement speech at Barnard this year. One of the most powerful things she said was, "There's no normal. There's only change, and resistance to it, and then more change."
The Taoists have known this for millennia. In the John WorldPeace translation of the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9 says, "Change is the harmony of Infinity."
It seems to me that the Republicans have a monopoly on this good old days paradigm.
The kind of marriage they cite is the Ozzie/Harriet variety. It existed, oh yes, it did, but only for a decade. Look around, Republicans. Even Laura Bush is for gay marriage.
They want the tax-cutting days of Ronald Reagan. Our world is different now than it was then.
The Republicans I hear about have no qualms about how we treat the environment; our environment has changed. They also have no trouble with our deepening and continued addiction to oil. Oil is hurting the world rather badly right now.
That's what it means to inhabit a world -- we get to change with it, or become extinct.
In fact, Nature is a very good teacher about the subject of change. Nature changes or becomes extinct. We might recognize that we are a page in Her book. Insistence on the good old days is an addiction in itself really. It seems to me based upon the fact that whatever days we're in, the good old ones were better. Who says?
Why is a marriage comprised of one man and one woman better than any other kind?
Why is an oil addiction better than a wind or solar one?
Why is tax-cutting always better than tax-equalizing?
I've not heard any answers to these why questions. Why? Because there aren't any.
I think one of the reasons humans resist change is because we've just recently figured out that change is the new normal. Not that it wasn't before, mind you. It always has been. But we KNOW it now, and it scares the be-jesus out of all of us.
If change is the new normal, then no one has a choice; or, the choice we all get to make is to accept the unknown -- isn't that what's behind our fear of change? The unknown.
What's on the other side of traditional marriage? The unknown.
What's a tax-equalized America like? Unknown.
What is a green economy? Unknown.
What is known is really very simple. Change is the only constant. The good news is that we all know it now.
We can resist or we can accept it. No matter, change will still happen.
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