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The left wants to freeze time.
The world population needs to be limited to an arbitrary number of some recent year. The air needs to be as clean as the most famous environmentalist’s memory renders. Trade needs to be at the level of the trendiest primitive society du jour. Food needs to be prepared the way someone remembers it.
The right also wants to freeze time.
Gender roles need to be stuck at the happiest memories of our most recent nostalgia. Kids ought to learn in the same way our most memorable learning was done. Families need to look like those on our most beloved sitcoms.
On both ends, though, there are those that understand that the problems of today cannot be solved by the solutions of yesterday.
The family has transitioned. We have moved from extended families to nuclear families. And we have moved from nuclear to single family. Family is important to me. I grew up in a nuclear family, the first in my extended family. My parents were the first in both their families to take that step. The grandparents before that and generations before (don’t ask how many; there is a physical journal in a temple in northern India with a catalog) lived in extended families.
In America, I met families and non-families. Single parents with kids, divorced parents with multiple sets of grandparents, extended groups of people operating as families and more traditional nuclear families. Success varied based on individual dynamics.
Statistics don’t lie. Extended families are better for individuals than nuclear families, and nuclear families are better for individuals than single-parent families. Yet, statistics don’t lie. Compared to our parents, we have many advantages. We are richer, have more luxuries, use more advanced technologies, have higher life expectancies, and have more time to indulge in communities spread across the continent.
All is not well and some things must be changed. When the Founding Fathers wanted to change things, here’s what they did: They made a bold and ambitious declaration. Then they wrote it down — and signed it — even though it was their own death sentence. They dreamed of a world that was not in the past, but part of a brave new future. It had never been done before and I am sure there were many naysayers and nostalgic people who wanted to go back to the way things were. But the Founding Fathers looked to the future. Then, they gave everything to achieve their dreams; their possessions, their families, and their lives.
What declarations are we making today? To what document will we sign our names? For what issues are we willing to lose everything? For what ideals are we willing to die?
I invite you to look forward. Dream big. Work hard to make it happen.
Reflections are necessary — but let’s not live in the past. There is a future that has your values. Let’s declare it. Let’s make it happen.