Hollie Grimaldi Flores: The ever-changing world
Lately I find I can’t help but think about what an incredibly strange time it is to be alive on this planet. I’ve been around for awhile now, safe to say, these are difficult days. Certainly, each generation can speak to the challenges of their time, but I have always felt I was born just a little too late – just missing the big news events of my youth. I was born a bit too late to participate in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. I was too young for Woodstock and too young to put flowers in my hair on a storied journey to San Francisco. I was not quite a teenager as I listened to the local radio station announcing the United States had negotiated withdrawal from Vietnam and simply not old enough to fully understand the effects of that war. In my early teens, I watched the Watergate hearings and the resignation of a flawed (dare I say, corrupt) president, but overall, I graduated from high school with apathy and, aside from parental rule, did not have much to oppose – there simply wasn’t much to be fighting for or at least nothing I had a great deal of interest in fighting against. Honestly, we were just beginning to think littering might be an issue.
Even then, I heard my parents talk of simpler times, as they were much more aware of how quickly things were changing. They complained about hippies and the counterculture. They marveled at remote controlled television and the ability to record programming.
My parents have both passed, and I know they would not recognize the world we are living in today. The warp speed changes brought about by technology is difficult to comprehend, and who can keep up? We are light years away from those early days of Atari and the simple fascination of Pong! I have found myself struggling to navigate the ever-changing platforms available on social media and find myself silently apologizing to my parents for every time I mocked them for not being able to comprehend the simple programming of the VCR!
While technological changes were coming on at warp speed, environmental concerns took on a slower pace.
As a culture and a society, we have made incredible advances and yet, somehow, we seem to be losing the battle of a happy and bright future for upcoming generations. This generation will not be better off than the last generation.
In our family, we have a new grandbaby. He’s about a month old and I am already wondering if humanity is going to survive his lifetime. The planet is fighting back right now. All the climate change nay sayers can nay say all they want — it does not change the fact that Mother Nature is not taking any prisoners. Fires, floods, increased temperatures, drought, earthquakes, and oh yes, a pandemic. What hope is there for humans to survive another 100 years?
When I was in school, there seemed to be two paths of study – there were the math and science kids and there were the English and history kids. The artsy folks were in a league of their own, but those creatives still had to focus on the core curriculum. I fell toward the English/history side with an emphasis on English. Math was manageable, but science never really grasped my attention. I managed to get through the required courses in Earth Science and Biology but quickly opted out of Chemistry. When exploring career choices, I said no thanks to anything I had interest in if I found out math and science courses would be emphasized while earning a degree. So that would be a big no thank you to any vocation in the medical field!
That being said, I did l understand the idea of, and learned to test, a hypothesis. Science is not theory. Science is proving or disproving. Science is not opinion. Science is fact. And therefore, I trust science. It’s hard for me to comprehend those who don’t believe the facts when facts are presented. Nonetheless, there are plenty of people in the present, refusing to look at logic and truths, and as a result, continue to put others in harm’s way.
The divisiveness across the country is difficult to bear. It’s not easy to remain hopeful and it is impossible to ignore. In my own community, public officials are being threatened by those who disagree with decisions made for the greater good – those decisions based in science.
I keep wondering what it is going to take to bring us back together as a community. We are coming up on 20 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center. As horrible a time as that was for America, it also brought out the best in us. For a short while, people put their personal beliefs aside and came together as Americans. For a time, we all seemed to be playing for the same team and were all about taking care of one another.
The pandemic did not do that. The virus continues to spread as people debate whether it is real or not or whether their personal freedom is more important than the potential spread of the disease that did not, apparently, kill people quickly enough for them to believe it is a threat.
It feels as though the world has gone crazy. What will it take? I am thinking it’s time for an alien invasion … something out of the Sci Fi world where politics is not going to matter. Talk about grasping at straws! Our little grandson is a month old. Will he grow up and save the world? Will it be salvageable? It feels a little bit like “Mad Max” out there these days. One can only hope this next generation is the one to clean up the mess previous generations are leaving behind. One can only hope.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at email@example.com
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