You Never Know …

 

This is making the rounds on Facebook. Luckily, I don’t believe everything I see on the Internet. I mean, that’s nuts, right? I was born in 1968. Which was about 20 years ago. Or so. Give or take.

My dad was born in 1945. He has a picture of himself as a baby, being held by his great-grandmother, who was 85 years old at the time (see picture at end of post). So she was born in 1860. America is a young country.

World leaders in the late 1700s said that representative republics were too unstable. America would never last. Once the citizens realized that they could vote themselves rich, then the game was over. Perhaps they were right.

Or, perhaps they were wrong. Perhaps Americans will recognize that America is the greatest force for good that the world has ever seen and will endeavor to preserve her, warts and all.

Or, perhaps, Democrats will continue to win elections a week after they happen via mail-in ballots. We grow weary of pressing the issue. It would be nice to take a break from it all. Why can’t we all just get along?

In the future, those who read the history of our era — say, from 1950-2050 — will wonder why we actively destroyed the greatest force for good the world had ever seen. But they won’t understand how tired we were. Tired of the daily struggle. Tired of getting fact-checked on Facebook. Tired of the condescension from our masked neighbors at Kroger. Tired of pretending to believe the unbelievable. It’s easier to just go along to get along. Why can’t we all just get along?

Indeed.

You may not care. After enough bourbon, maybe I won’t, either. Although that amount of bourbon continues to increase. I can’t tell if it’s from increased tolerance to ethanol or from decreased tolerance to absurdity. I suppose it doesn’t matter. But as things get increasingly absurd, it’s getting harder to care about daily events. I try to care. I really do. But sometimes, it’s hard to care.

But our great-grandchildren, who have not yet been born, care. Or rather, they will care.

My dad’s great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize America right now. Her generation did a lot to vanquish the Democratic Party of the time — the Jim Crow South and segregation. Her generation recognized the evil of the Democratic Party of her time and did its best to improve on it.

And now, here we are. Will we stand up against the evil of the Democratic Party of our time? Will we stand up for the rights of man? Or will we acquiesce to the rights of government?

Note that I didn’t ask if it would be difficult or not. I just asked where we would draw the line. They may ask who won. They won’t ask about degree of difficulty.

Somewhere, there is a point of no return. I think we passed it some time ago. Others feel that it is close, but not yet upon us.

I don’t think it matters who is right. We should act as if our decisions matter.

For one thing, when one believes that one’s decisions don’t matter, one tends to make bad decisions.

But more importantly, you never know. You may be playing from behind. But you could possibly win. You never know. So you play until the game is over. And our game most certainly is not over. Things may seem difficult. But this is not over. Maybe soon. But not yet. Perhaps.

And if we’ve already lost, then we have nothing to lose, right? So we might as well keep playing as if we have something to play for. You never know.

You never know.

One benefit of losing is that it takes the pressure off. The favorite should win. They have every advantage. But the underdog feels no pressure. They just play. And you never know how things might turn out.

Happy and successful people are often blessed with an ignorance of their own limitations. They should lose. And they usually do.

But not always. Sometimes they win. Even when they really shouldn’t. Sometimes they keep playing against impossible odds, and they win anyway. You just never know.

So you might as well keep playing. You never know.

It’s easy for me to say this, as I was born only about 20 years ago. The idealism of youth, and all that.

On the other hand, my dad’s great-grandmother (pictured at left, holding my father) might find this to be important. Perhaps she has a perspective that some of us young kids lack. Imagine what she went through in her life. Perhaps she worked through difficulties that many of us wouldn’t understand. Perhaps she is less understanding of our fatalistic outlook.

You never know. Perhaps we’ve already lost. Our efforts could be futile. Hard to say, I guess.

But heck — let’s play.

You never know …

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 43 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Dr. Bastiat:

    In the future, those who read the history of our era – say, from 1950 – 2050 – they will wonder why we actively destroyed the greatest force for good the world had ever seen.  But they won’t understand how tired we were.  Tired of the daily struggle.  Tired of getting fact-checked on Facebook.  Tired of the condescension from our masked neighbors at Krogers.  Tired of pretending to believe the unbelievable.  It’s easier to just go along, to get along.  Why can’t we all just get along?  

    Preach.

    • #1
  2. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    • #2
  3. TGA Coolidge
    TGA
    @TGA

    Well Doc, it would appear that you’re a youngun.  My sobering thought?  I was born in 1959.  Babies born in 2019 were the same chronological distance from 9-11 as I was from Pearl Harbor.  Those born since 2019 are further.  My grandfather – not my great-grandfather – fought and won medals in World War I.

    Yes, I’m tired as well.  But heck yeah!  Let’s play!

    Grandpa – back in the day.

     

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I remember going to the public library in the late 1960s. I was about 10 or 12 and I was in line to check out a book of WWI air combat stories by Arch Whitehouse. (They had that kind of literature for boys back then, even in Ann Arbor, MI.) The man behind me in line was in his mid to late 60s – about the age I am now. He noticed the book, and started talking to me. It seems he had been a pilot in the US Air Service back then. He was glad to see someone my age taking an interest in the Great War. My grandfather was a combat veteran of World War I. I now have his World War I Victory Medal with three combat clasps. (I inherited it when my parents died.) He died in 1978.

    I kind of wonder. If I see a 10-year-old kid checking out a book about Project Mercury or Gemini will I tell him I was his age when that happened and that it inspired me to work in the space program? And will he remember it 50 years later, like I remember that conversation with the WWI pilot? If so, that will be 100 years of memory linked by one person. A strange thought. 

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Sometime I need to do a post on my great-grandfather’s sermon notes. Born in 1885.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Sometime I need to do a post on my great-grandfather’s sermon notes. Born in 1885.

    My great great grandfather (Or maybe 3 greats?) was the pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Columbus, Ohio in the late 1800’s.  My Dad has his sermons in his original notebook.  They’re in German.

    • #6
  7. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    My Dad was born in 1945.  He has a picture of him as a baby, being held by his great grandmother, who was 85 years old at the time (see picture at end of post).  So she was born in 1860.  America is a young country.

    My Great-Grandad was born in Virginia in 1855, before his part of that state became West Virginia. His parents were Irish immigrants. Here he is in the late 1930s:

    • #7
  8. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Thanks again for another great essay. Most of my dad’s friends, like him, were WWII vets. My first scoutmaster was shot down over Germany as a B-17 crew member. He lost three fingers in the flak burst that put him in a POW camp. He made several escape attempts but finished the war as a POW.

    One of the priests at my university went ashore on D-Day with Canadian forces. He was one of the gentlest souls I’ve ever known. He never talked about his time in Europe, it was another priest who informed us about his wartime service.

    One priest I never met at university; I was long gone from school at that time served as a chaplain in the Afghan war. He asked for permission to return to Afghanistan, permission was given, and he went back to serving soldiers at different fire bases.

    These were men that were and are worth knowing.

    • #8
  9. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Such thoughts as these remind me of A League of their Own. It opens in the present with the elderly women playing baseball then flashes back to their youth. After their story is told, Dottie is whipped back to the present as the ball players recognize her and we recognize the characters we have enjoyed for almost two hours. Then they go into the Hall of Fame where we see them now looking at pictures of their youthful baseball days. It reminds us of how quickly life passes by. I was born in 1953. My body reminds me of that. I inherited many family photos and am in the process of identifying them and scanning them for posterity. Family genetics traits are obvious. I immediately recognized my father’s mother who died shortly after he was born. It was as close a blueprint of my youngest sister as I could imagine. The more pictures I see, the more I want to know about them.

    • #9
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    A couple of years ago, I was startled when one of my daughters pointed out that I had been around for 1/3 as many years as the United States has existed.

    • #10
  11. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Dr. Bastiat: And now, here we are.  Will we stand up against the evil of the Democrat party of our time?  Will we stand up for the rights of man?  Or will we acquiesce to the rights of government? 

    Living here in the bluest of blue states I never miss a chance to vote against a democrat. I’ve helped on some campaigns knowing my vote is just a protest. About 10 years ago I worked hard to get a state rep elected. We failed miserably. But, we laid the groundwork for a change. We now have a very popular republican representative. 

    Never, never, never, give up. 

    • #11
  12. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Dr. Bastiat:

     

    My Dad was born in 1945.  He has a picture of him as a baby, being held by his great grandmother, who was 85 years old at the time (see picture at end of post).  So she was born in 1860.  America is a young country.

    Yeah, my dad was born in 1912.  My great grandfather was emancipated in 1861. By the Tsar.

    So much history packed into those 3 lifetimes.

     

     

    • #12
  13. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    So how many bourbons did you have before you wrote this post, Doc? I know…you are delving into questions whose answers can’t be known for sure. As such, it is too depressing to spend a lot of time searching for answers. I say, just live your own life the best that you can. It’s all any of us can do. I want to be able every evening before I go to bed to look in the mirror and say, “Good work, you did no harm today.” Then I’ll try and do the same tomorrow.

    • #13
  14. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    cdor (View Comment):
    So how many bourbons did you have before you wrote this post, Doc?

    A few.

    Very perceptive.

    • #14
  15. J Ro Member
    J Ro
    @JRo

    Dr. Bastiat:

    This is making the rounds on Facebook. Luckily, I don’t believe everything I see on the Internet. I mean, that’s nuts, right? I was born in 1968. Which was about 20 years ago. Or so. Give or take.

    My dad was born in 1945. He has a picture of himself as a baby, being held by his great-grandmother, who was 85 years old at the time (see picture at end of post). So she was born in 1860. America is a young country.

    Biden isn’t even a Boomer. He’s too old. Pelosi was born before WWII and Breyer is even older than she is.

    America is a young country, currently run by ancient, wrong thinking, America-wrecking incompetents.

    • #15
  16. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Dr. Bastiat:

    This is making the rounds on Facebook. Luckily, I don’t believe everything I see on the Internet. I mean, that’s nuts, right? I was born in 1968. Which was about 20 years ago. Or so. Give or take.

    My dad was born in 1945.

    Ah geez Doc!  Way to make a girl feel old. I was born in 1946 and my daughter was born in 1968. But I am definitely not old enough to be your mother! Or hers. I’m still 40. Right?

    Otherwise, good post. I think.

    • #16
  17. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    Ah geez Doc!  Way to make a girl feel old. I was born in 1946 and my daughter was born in 1968. But I am definitely not old enough to be your mother! Or hers. I’m still 40. Right?

    Why people so fear age amazes me. Yes, the death thing gets closer the older you get, but you can die at any age. Besides, it is not death that is feared so much as being old.  But unless you die young you are going to get old. So why do so many people run away from getting old? It beats dying young. 

    Besides, the older you get the more experience you have. I treasured my father-in-law as a gateway to the past. He was born in the Harding Administration and told me about meeting with Civil War veterans. He told my children those stories. (I recorded many of his family history stories to preserve them.) I can tell people what it was like sitting in a circle in a kindergarten classroom listening to Alan Shepard’s first flight. That is ancient history today. But as long as I am around to remember it, it will never die.

    Does our society value age so little today that we run from it? I guess so.

    • #17
  18. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    Ah geez Doc! Way to make a girl feel old. I was born in 1946 and my daughter was born in 1968. But I am definitely not old enough to be your mother! Or hers. I’m still 40. Right?

    Why people so fear age amazes me. Yes, the death thing gets closer the older you get, but you can die at any age. Besides, it is not death that is feared so much as being old. But unless you die young you are going to get old. So why do so many people run away from getting old? It beats dying young.

    Besides, the older you get the more experience you have. I treasured my father-in-law as a gateway to the past. He was born in the Harding Administration and told me about meeting with Civil War veterans. He told my children those stories. (I recorded many of his family history stories to preserve them.) I can tell people what it was like sitting in a circle in a kindergarten classroom listening to Alan Shepard’s first flight. That is ancient history today. But as long as I am around to remember it, it will never die.

    Does our society value age so little today that we run from it? I guess so.

    I’m wit yah, @Seawriter, great comment. The only thing worse than getting old is dying young.

    • #18
  19. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    I first pulled into Pearl Harbor with the Navy in Jan 1967, 25 years after the attack which was ancient history.  We’ve since passed the 80th anniversary. But 1997 was about 2 months ago. 

    • #19
  20. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    This is making the rounds on Facebook. Luckily, I don’t believe everything I see on the Internet. I mean, that’s nuts, right? I was born in 1968. Which was about 20 years ago. Or so. Give or take.

    My dad was born in 1945.

    Ah geez Doc! Way to make a girl feel old. I was born in 1946 and my daughter was born in 1968. But I am definitely not old enough to be your mother! Or hers. I’m still 40. Right?

    Otherwise, good post. I think.

    Justme!  We may be twins!   Hmmm . . .  but I keep thinking I’m 29 . . . but . . our son is 55 . . . hmmmm . . . 

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Trink (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    This is making the rounds on Facebook. Luckily, I don’t believe everything I see on the Internet. I mean, that’s nuts, right? I was born in 1968. Which was about 20 years ago. Or so. Give or take.

    My dad was born in 1945.

    Ah geez Doc! Way to make a girl feel old. I was born in 1946 and my daughter was born in 1968. But I am definitely not old enough to be your mother! Or hers. I’m still 40. Right?

    Otherwise, good post. I think.

    Justme! We may be twins! Hmmm . . . but I keep thinking I’m 29 . . . but . . our son is 55 . . . hmmmm . . .

    Interesting. Bicycling used to make me feel like I was 20 again, but that doesn’t happen any more. I’ve definitely reached my 40s. Our oldest will be 50 this year. 

    • #21
  22. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I can tell people what it was like sitting in a circle in a kindergarten classroom listening to Alan Shepard’s first flight.

    I just finished reading the excellent Mercury Rising by Jeff Shesol, about the Mercury program. It focuses on John Glenn for the astronauts’ aspect, and JFK’s and LBJ’s activities in the political sphere.

    • #22
  23. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    cdor (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    Ah geez Doc! Way to make a girl feel old. I was born in 1946 and my daughter was born in 1968. But I am definitely not old enough to be your mother! Or hers. I’m still 40. Right?

    Why people so fear age amazes me. Yes, the death thing gets closer the older you get, but you can die at any age. Besides, it is not death that is feared so much as being old. But unless you die young you are going to get old. So why do so many people run away from getting old? It beats dying young.

    Besides, the older you get the more experience you have. I treasured my father-in-law as a gateway to the past. He was born in the Harding Administration and told me about meeting with Civil War veterans. He told my children those stories. (I recorded many of his family history stories to preserve them.) I can tell people what it was like sitting in a circle in a kindergarten classroom listening to Alan Shepard’s first flight. That is ancient history today. But as long as I am around to remember it, it will never die.

    Does our society value age so little today that we run from it? I guess so.

    I’m wit yah, @ Seawriter, great comment. The only thing worse than getting old is dying young.

    And, as my Mother often said, “It’s better than the alternative.”

    • #23
  24. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    Why people so fear age amazes me. Yes, the death thing gets closer the older you get, but you can die at any age. Besides, it is not death that is feared so much as being old.  But unless you die young you are going to get old. So why do so many people run away from getting old? It beats dying young. 

    Not so much fear or running away. It’s just that occasionally  – on a site like this where we read and interact with all ages – it hits you that someone you have thought of as a contemporary is actually much younger. I always feel young in my mind. Except when I get really cranky.

    • #24
  25. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    We are a very young country.  Several years ago, I talked to a local resident who had been in a barber shop when he was a kid and John Singleton Mosby (The Gray Ghost of the Confederacy) was getting a shave.

    Myself, last year, I was the youngest person in the company where I worked….. today, I am retired.

    • #25
  26. jmelvin Member
    jmelvin
    @jmelvin

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Sometime I need to do a post on my great-grandfather’s sermon notes. Born in 1885.

    My great great grandfather (Or maybe 3 greats?) was the pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Columbus, Ohio in the late 1800’s. My Dad has his sermons in his original notebook. They’re in German.

    I just looked that church up and I recognized it as one that I passed fairly regularly when traversing Columbus as a kid and young adult.  Pretty cool!

    • #26
  27. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Dr. Bastiat: You may be playing from behind. But you could possibly win. You never know. So you play until the game is over.

    As the memes say: this.

    One of the many things I love about watching my children and their classmates play high school sports is that they never give up. They play until the end, even when they’re down a hopeless amount and the clock is running out. They take the half-court shot as the buzzer sounds, despite being thirty points behind with absolutely no possibility of catching up.

    I’m one of those who believes that, as bad as it is, it isn’t yet hopeless. But I also think we have to die trying, that we have to go down fighting. Because America isn’t a basketball game that’s simply over when it’s over. She’s a big, living, breathing, glorious thing that, even were she wounded (she is) and in decline (she needn’t be), will still go on a long time, and we have to do everything we can to keep her alive, if only for the sake of all those grandkids and great grandkids who will be here long after we’re gone.

    • #27
  28. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    We are a very young country. Several years ago, I talked to a local resident who had been in a barber shop when he was a kid and John Singleton Mosby (The Gray Ghost of the Confederacy) was getting a shave.

    Myself, last year, I was the youngest person in the company where I worked….. today, I am retired.

    The last person to receive a pension from the American Civil War has died.

     

    • #28
  29. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Kozak (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    We are a very young country. Several years ago, I talked to a local resident who had been in a barber shop when he was a kid and John Singleton Mosby (The Gray Ghost of the Confederacy) was getting a shave.

    Myself, last year, I was the youngest person in the company where I worked….. today, I am retired.

    The last person to receive a pension from the American Civil War has died.

     

    Mose Triplett, her father, sort of reminds me of Flashman. Fought on both sides, got out of fighting at Gettysburg by getting (or playing) sick, and remained a horn dog into his eighties.

    • #29
  30. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    So how many bourbons did you have before you wrote this post, Doc?

    A few.

    Very perceptive.

    It’s why God gave us whisky to help us through the hard times, and celebrate the good.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.