Meandering Monday about Living for Now and the Future During These Worst of Times

The world seems to be in utter turmoil to many of us. The Russian invasion of Ukraine. The disaster in Afghanistan and the coddling of Iran’s zealots suggests terrorism on the rise. A doddering man who is incapable of leading the free world. Two years of stopping the spread. Lockdowns. Shut downs. Masks. Vaccines. Soaring gas prices. You can’t even rely on knowing how many genders there are anymore. And of course, as always, we are going to destroy the earth in less than 10 years (again), one way or another. Science and reason have been replaced with dogma and propaganda.

I hear young people who think this is a terrible time to bring a child into, and so they’re not going to. This is a loss and a lack of perspective.
Most of us have short memories, and can only see what has happened in our own lifetimes or less. Those who chose to expand their view might to listen to storytellers, or learn to read broken histories on the walls of caves and ruined buildings.

And then in books.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”    –   Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Technology has made it possible (almost) to view the past as it possibly was, instead of just imagining it. I have been reminded through documentaries and historical dramas that this is not the worst of times – not by a longshot.

Imagine if people going through the horrors of World War II or World War I or any number of wars or calamities that have occurred over the ages had said:

“No there is no way this is the right world to bring children into.”

We would never have gotten beyond those calamities without making some provision for future humans. Life was never meant to be fair or easy or without sadness – I believe we are put in such places and times to test our mettle, to learn where our shortcomings are and become better.

Thinking to wait until the world is without blemish is an extreme version of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good enough. Time to grow up. This world and its people will never be perfect. You can’t live for the future if you don’t live now.

Just Saying…

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Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

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