Making sense of a changing world


“We stopped tonight and watched the stars, and thought of how lucky we are on this farm, in this part of the world. I watched the children playing freeze tag and listened to their laughter and realized that life is just like I had hoped it would be. The worries of the political world are, thankfully, far, far away.”

– Ann Pace, columnist, 1959

Who knew?

How could we have foreseen the craziness that we are now live with?

Back in 1950, if someone had told you that you would one day pay $3.50 for 12 ounces of water at a professional sporting event, I think I can guess what you might have said.

The price of the ticket to get in to that sporting event ranges way beyond belief.

My great-uncle once said, “Wait a minute! Sports can’t be called “professional”, can it? It’s a game!”

Many people of his generation grew up cheering for a team that held their loyalty for life. There was an intense connection to the team – among fans and players alike – a deep bond that simply could not be explained, and certainly could not be broken.

Not any more. That all changed when salaries began to climb and a player would go where he could land the most money. That all changed when sports became more than a game and much more of a big business.

Now, those once-loyal fans are being asked to shell out a high percentage of their paycheck to attend one sporting event, to cheer for players who make more in one fun season than the fan will see in a lifetime of hard work.

And now, if that fan tries to bring his own water to drink while watching the game, in most stadiums it will be taken from him.

Changing tide. The world is changing in both subtle and momentous ways.

Think of what our fears were in this country back in 1950, and realize that many people living today don’t remember bomb shelter drills, nor do they remember the communist as the enemy.

A man not long ago told me he never, ever thought he would see us buying Japanese goods in this country, for he grew up knowing Japan as the U.S. enemy, the horrific fall-out from Pearl Harbor resonating across the years.

“It was such a deeply ingrained animosity for so long, I honestly never thought I would see it change. And it changed so quickly, in terms of the weight of it all.”

This man had lost an uncle during World War II, shot down in a plane over the ocean, his body never recovered.

Innocence lost. We grew up riding bikes with wonderful abandon and a sense of adventure. Kids could leave home on a summer morning and spend the day with neighbor kids, swimming or fishing or solving the mysteries of the universe.

No one worried. There was not yet a reason to worry.

Now, we are bombarded with the horrors of the world on nightly news clips, and we are reminded that there is plenty of reason to worry.

We need to hold our children tight, we need to be ever vigilant, and we can no longer rest assured that the enemy is on the other side of the globe.

The intense security at those high-dollar sporting events serves as another reminder of a world gone awry.

Could someone please turn back the clock to about 1950?

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