Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for being an American, born and raised and living in the northeast, and at this time in history.
Day #4 – Living in the Here and Now
We live in a world that is not perfect – and guess what? It never was, and never will be perfect.
It is easy to lament what I missed out on: the era of jazz as popular music, the dawn of computing, and on and on.
But I got to see and hear many of my musical heroes perform live, watch important moments in history such as Watergate and the Fall of Saigon live on TV as a kid, witness the incredible growth of technology – which everyone knows is totally my bag – and many more things.
If I wasn’t born when I was, I wouldn’t have met my wife and that uncertainty is just weird to contemplate – who might I have married? Would we have had kids? Would they be the amazing boys I am blessed with?
And technology has been huge in my life – from computers to games to mobile tech and more, I have always been on the cutting edge and loved it. I loved building computers in the early 90s, compiling Linux kernels in the mid-90s, always having the latest handheld gadget from the HP200LX through the Newton all the way up through a variety of iOS and Android stuff now.
I have seen a woman on the ballot for Vice President (sorry Geraldine, in ’84 I was a Republican), the demise of the Soviet Union and fall of the Berlin wall, a black President, a serious female presidential candidate, public acceptance of interracial marriage, legal and popular acceptance of gay marriage in most places, women and people of color getting more equal representation, and on and on.
There have been many great times and places in history, but none of them were my time. My time is now; my place is here.
How do you feel about where and when you were born?
Oh, and why not a music video for the 1991 Jesus Jones song noted in the title?
I went through many of the same things you did, except I got sent home from school early on the day JFK died, but otherwise the experiences have been similar to yours. I got to carry a 40 pound portable computer around, use Windows 1.0 and the stuff before that who were competing to be the DOS shell that people would primarily use to interact with their computer. The icon driven interface won, but there were others that were interesting too.
I wouldn’t change the times I have lived through, it is what I know and have a better standard of living than I would have at any other time in history for someone from a lower-middle class social class.
I will stick with today’s world, even with all of its so-called problems.
There will always be problems, but I look at the progress made in our lifetimes in so many areas and like you say – any other time in history we would have had a much tougher go of things.
Oh, and I was a Norton Commander user, hated Windows until 3.11 … and really was fine in command line for the longest time. Still always have a terminal window available on Mac & Windows … old geek habits 😉
Thanks, I couldn’t remember the one the used besides Window and it was N.CDR. I have forgotten so much of my command line DOS that I don’t even try to do it anymore. Although I could go out and get my DOS for Dummies out of the box it is in out in the garage and pick it back up pretty quick. 🙂
I still use a few command line tools on Mac and Windows, mostly Unix style stuff … less on Windows since they removed native Posix tools. Still fun sometimes 🙂
I can’t help but feel a little sad about some of the issues that have grown over my lifetime, like 9/11 and terrorism in general, violence in schools, etc. It just seems like things keep getting worse, and it make me worried for what things will be like 20 years from now. But I guess there is always something going on, and there are plenty of good changes to go along with the bad, including all the advances in technology that you mentioned!
It is interesting how we have shifted from the constant threat of total destruction to smaller but more real violence in our lives. There will always be bad things going on … we just have to do what we can in out world.
Thank you ending with that song, because I’ve had it stuck in my head since reading the title of this post. This world is a hard and terrible place, but as much as people crap on the modern day and wish for simpler times, they seem to forget that it hasn’t always been roses and unicorns. Um, ancient Rome? Prehistoric times? They have all been frought with misery, power struggles, disease, etc. We just now have new rules, and instant knowledge of everything. The importance is to find the balance, find the peace, do what you can, and love your family, do the best for them.
haha – I almost didn’t put it in, but since I had the song in my head the whole time as well I thought it was only fair! It is amazing to look at the impact of medicine even in the last 100 years or so to understand how rapidly our day to day lives have changed.
I agree that there have always been problems and I don’t necessarily feel things are getting “worse” because for everything that gets worse something else gets a whole lot better. I love the time I’m living in and embrace it for what it is. There was never a perfect time and there never will be. Plus we can make our marks by living the changes we wish to see. And be grateful that we have the freedom to do that!
So very true – we are so far away from the base of the ‘basic needs’ heirarchy that it is easy to get focused on many things that seem like a much bigger deal than they actually are …
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