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Kenneth Kales

Kenneth Kales

Posted: October 16, 2010 06:58 PM

The working people of this great nation are fighting with our hearts and souls to salvage what we can of an older Industrial Age society, and forging ahead to a newer Information Age society; just as our grandparents and great-grandparents fought through the transition from what was then a withering agrarian society to give way to the then vibrant-looking futuristic Industrial Age.

Billions of people around the world today are sinking or swimming in this transition. I see the fortitude from Americans, and indeed from colleagues I correspond with around the world in New York, in London, in Rome, in Bangalore, in Hong Kong, in Sydney, in Tehran, in Beijing, in Oslo. And we are getting through it.

I do not fear Armageddon or give it any credence. Instead, an end is upon us. But not the end. One of the single biggest indicators that an end is upon us is the increasing agreement amongst the military and politicians acknowledging publicly what many of the rest of us have known for our lifetimes -- violence is not a solution to disputes. Political resolutions, not military ones are needed between nations. Civility not hatred is needed between individuals.

Another indicator that an end is upon us is that news about popular culture and celebrity goings-on often gain as much if not more attention than important issues. There is a fancy term for this called cognitive dissonance, where we just can't reconcile ourselves with all of this serious stuff. Really, what I think it means is we are tired. Tired of the arguing, tired of the injustices, tired of the propaganda, tired of the overt and covert biases against genders, races, lifestyle orientations, socio-economic classes and on.

What will historians say about our generation? How did we fare under these difficult times of nuclear arsenals? The end of fossil fuels as we counted down the last 100 years left in world supplies? When human thoughtlessness picked an un-winnable fight against the environment? When individual rage could be expressed through the mass murder of innocent people?

Perhaps history will say about us that we were a people who fought back during the upheaval at the turn of the millennium. We showed strength and courage to adapt, learned to accept more diversity, and showed compassion for more people and causes. That we wrote the closing chapter of a society we had known for several generations and were a resilient and brave generation tasked with handling the transition to pass on a better society to future generations.

We have been in a hard winter for years and will be still for several more. Our knees might shake, but they don't buckle. Stay calm. We'll catch up on our rest when Spring comes.

 

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