Monday, September 12, 2011

Better Days Ahead! by Diane Kelly

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 having just passed, many of us are feeling somber. That horrifying day will never be forgotten, nor will the people who perished.

I admit that I dread hearing the sad stories on the news. I listen reluctantly, out of respect for those who were directly touched by that day’s events. I find it all unbearably heartbreaking. I want to pretend that day never happened. But of course, I can’t. None of us can.

Among the many thoughts I had that day, I distinctly remember thinking This is not the world I wanted for my children. Having a father in the military as I grew up made me acutely aware of the threats we faced as a nation, at the time from Russia and the Iron Curtain countries. Growing up in the Cold War Era gave us a constant, underlying sense of fear that I had hoped my children could avoid.

No such luck.

Still, as hard as it is with these freshly re-opened emotional wounds, I am bound and determined to be positive. So, on that note, I’m going to share my list of things that I am glad have changed in our world so that it is, in many ways, a better place for our kids than it was for us.

1. Respect for women. Women are recognized for our skills and hard work and are now seen as much more than just baby-makers and housekeepers (at least here in the U.S. We’re still working on it in some other places.)

2. Animal rights. Our fellow creatures are getting more respect as well, and many laws have been enacted to protect both wildlife and domestic pets.

3. Creative opportunities. The internet has opened up vast new opportunities for people to create, whether it be stories, videos, or art, and to share their creations with the world.

4. Medical advances. Vast strides have been made in medical care. Treatments now exist for diseases that would not long ago have been fatal or debilitating.

5. The rise of the Beta male. Men aren’t expected to be macho sh*theads anymore. They can actually express their feelings and not be deemed wimps for doing so.

6. Individuality. Cookie-cutter personalities are going out the window as we come to recognize that there is no one ideal person we should all strive to be. People are more free to express their individuality without fear of intolerance or rejection.

7. Cultural interaction. As it becomes easier and less costly to travel internationally, we are better able to experience and understand other cultures.

What are your thoughts on today’s world? In what ways do you think it’s better than the world of your youth? What things do you think will be even better for our children’s kids?

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