Would we act differently in the past than we act now?
I have been watching a classic movie today called “Cry Freedom” and also a documentary on “Robert E. Lee“. Sometimes I think to myself “I would never have acted in the way they did in South Africa in the last part of 20th century.” Then I stop and think how often I went with the “common wisdom” and it seems far more likely that I would have.
For example, I bought a home when it was “stupid not to buy a home in rising home values.” I am a single guy and didn’t need it, it was just about the same as the rent of my apartment. Rather than buy it, I should have continued to live in a way that was more modest and in line with my values. See that is the thing. It is so easy to be carried away with the crowd. Perhaps the hardest thing is to have an open mind balancing integrity with flexibility. It is hard to know when your ideas are best for your life, and when others ideas should be consulted.
I think in the past I often did what was unpopular and unusual. I didn’t face the wrath of the police or government which might have changed things. In the face of societal pressure we have to hold onto the things that make us human. I don’t think anyone has the right to say we would act differently in the past if we don’t also act differently in the present. Apple said in its advertising once “Think differently.” Do we have the courage to think in the thoughts and act in the steps of greatest minds in culture?
Listen I know that things are tough. I see each day people struggling to survive. The divisions that threaten to divide us are greater now than they ever have been. The people who hold the debt hold it and use it as a weapon against those who are less fortunate. It seems that the rich hate the poor. It seems that the political parties favor special interests than their own constituents. It seems that problems multiply faster than the time/money it takes to solves them. However each age faces challenges, and we are also uniquely equipped to handle them.
Hang in their folks! Every cloud has a silver lining.