HOPE   10 comments

It’s ironic I know, but I am finding hope in the fact that we’ve been here before as a nation. The same problems bug us – different faces – same issues, having led us not to resolutions, but rather to more of the same. Why hopeful? I’ll be darned if I know. It should leave me feeling even more distressed, verging on despair. I guess it’s the fact that the things we live through have meaning only with the perspective of time, so I perceive myself (and you) living in the maelstrom, out of which will come who knows what. And the fact that my father died in bed at age 86. The world had not collapsed entirely during his journey.

OK, let me give that first paragraph some perspective. As I think I have mentioned, I am working on the fictionalized biography of my father, born in 1890, emigrated from Sweden to the United States in 1909. I have several sources to draw on for specific information about him, but I’m also searching sites to give me background on the times in which he lived.

One book that has delighted me with useful, and, in some cases nostalgic, information, is David E. Kyvig’s “Daily Life in the United States: 1920 – 1940.” There’s lots to comment on, but my focus here is the recognition that “Oh my goodness. We’ve been here before.” Weather changes creating financial havoc (the dust bowl). The great depression; the poorest suffering most, long before the fall of the stock market hit the upper percent. Government intrusion into personal life with the Volstead Act, created by the very people who argued against government intrusion.  (In my mind equivalent to the current incursion into people’s reproductive rights by those who argue against government control). The unanticipated negative results of banning alcohol – ie. Rampant law-breaking and mob violence. How interesting to see that which was once part of the culture becoming “illegal.” Was there an element of anti-immigrant sentiment? It apparently did destroy the French restaurant business, for example. Technological advances leading to job loss and ultimate creation of new jobs.

Questions whether this time the period of creating replacement jobs will happen quickly enough to save the middle class.

So, why be hopeful? It’s some crazy twist of my own psychology, I guess. Sometimes I advise folks that it’s better to give up hope than to keep on wishing for that which cannot happen. Maybe that’s it. I’m not ready to give up wishing that things will get better if we keep on trying.

 

 

10 responses to “HOPE

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I’m certainly with you on the last line.  Y our staunch supporter.

    tappersal@comcast.net
  2. Greetings, Mona. We’re finally back from the West. Thanks for this longer-range perspective.

    Moments ago I submitted this piece to All things Considered in advance of tomorrow speech by the President about economics and middle class.

    The Word “Economics”

    Gordon C. Stewart gordoncstewart@comcast.net 952-856-2289 July 23, 2013

    Tomorrow night/ tonight the President will deliver a major address about the future of the American economy. I hope he takes us back to the basics of what an “economy” is.

    Economics is about a household and how to manage it. The household is a family, a state, a nation, a planet.

    The English word “economy” comes from the Greek work “oikos” – the Greek word for house. The word “economics” derives from the Greek word “oikonomia”- -the management of a household.

    Before it is anything else, economics is a perspective, a frame of reference.. Before it decides anything about household management, it knows that there is only one house. Good household management – good economics –pays attention to the wellbeing of the entire house and all its residents.

    In America and elsewhere across the world, we are coming to realize that the planet itself is one house. What happens in one room of the house – one family, one city, one nation -affects what happens everywhere in the house. Paul Tillich caught the clear sense of it when he wrote that “[humankind] and nature belong together in their created glory – in their tragedy and in their salvation.” That is to say, there is only one house.

    The essential question of economics is not about systems- capitalism, communism, or socialism, or something else. The first question is spiritual, philosophical, and ethical. It’s whether we believe that there is only one “oikos”, one house; the subsequent question is about how best to manage it to honor the dignity of all its residents and the fragile web of nature without which the house of the living would not exist.

    Very often what we call ‘economics’ is not economics. It’s something else. It assumes something else. And when we forget what an economy and economics really are, we enshrine greed as the essential virtue, ignoring and imperiling everyone else and ever thing in the one house in which we all live.

    Tomorrow/Tonight I dream that the President will preach the old Greek common sense: that in his own way, he will reclaim the essential premise of an economy and ethical task of economics. By bringing the Greek origins to our television sets, headsets, and iPads, he can call us to move forward out of the partisan houses houses of nonsense.

    There is only one house.

    The Word “Economics”

    Gordon C. Stewart gordoncstewart@comcast.net 952-856-2289 July 23, 2013

    Tomorrow night/ tonight the President will deliver a major address about the future of the American economy. I hope he takes us back to the basics of what an “economy” is.

    Economics is about a household and how to manage it. The household is a family, a state, a nation, a planet.

    The English word “economy” comes from the Greek work “oikos” – the Greek word for house. The word “economics” derives from the Greek word “oikonomia”- -the management of a household.

    Before it is anything else, economics is a perspective, a frame of reference.. Before it decides anything about household management, it knows that there is only one house. Good household management – good economics –pays attention to the wellbeing of the entire house and all its residents.

    In America and elsewhere across the world, we are coming to realize that the planet itself is one house. What happens in one room of the house – one family, one city, one nation -affects what happens everywhere in the house. Paul Tillich caught the clear sense of it when he wrote that “[humankind] and nature belong together in their created glory – in their tragedy and in their salvation.” That is to say, there is only one house.

    The essential question of economics is not about systems- capitalism, communism, or socialism, or something else. The first question is spiritual, philosophical, and ethical. It’s whether we believe that there is only one “oikos”, one house; the subsequent question is about how best to manage it to honor the dignity of all its residents and the fragile web of nature without which the house of the living would not exist.

    Very often what we call ‘economics’ is not economics. It’s something else. It assumes something else. And when we forget what an economy and economics really are, we enshrine greed as the essential virtue, ignoring and imperiling everyone else and ever thing in the one house in which we all live.

    Tomorrow/Tonight I dream that the President will preach the old Greek common sense: that in his own way, he will reclaim the essential premise of an economy and ethical task of economics. By bringing the Greek origins to our television sets, headsets, and iPads, he can call us to move forward out of the partisan houses of nonsense.

    There is only one house.

  3. IF this is just a dream – and IF things do repeat themselves – it seems more important to wake up from the dream and stop trying to fix it
    now – HOW to do that 🙂 ask all the enlightened masters – – – and I know, in the end of “my” life, what will comfort me is to know how I lived – in love or in fear –
    just my 2 cents of course

    love
    leelah

  4. I also enjoy reading old books and magazines. After reading them I’m always amazed how many current issues and challenges seem like we’ve been there before.

  5. If it’s a weird idea, at least there are two of us who feel it. Thanks

I'd love to hear your reaction, click here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: