So, don’t get me wrong. This century has a lot of problems; I won’t bother listing them because, frankly, some of us might disagree as to w...

The Time of Our Lives

So, don’t get me wrong. This century has a lot of problems; I won’t bother listing them because, frankly, some of us might disagree as to what they actually are, but that isn’t the point of this post anyway. The point is this century has issues. People in this century have issues. This country, America, has issues, and so does probably every other country in the world. Sometimes, a little complaining is justified, even helpful: it’s often cathartic, plus acknowledging the problems is the first step towards fixing them, towards a change that will make this century, this country, and this world even better.

But sometimes, it’s time to try that old trick of counting our blessings just to remind ourselves of how good our lives actually are.

I was thinking recently about the many new inventions we enjoy: advances in science and medicine, some that just make our lives a little more convenient, like computers, GPS, or microwaves, and some that actually keep our lives from ending! Two of my brothers are diabetic, but with the help of insulin and other advancements, they get to live. And they get to live far better lives than they would have last century, or the one before that, or whenever it was that “the good old days” occurred. Not even to mention the fact that we’re black and, even for the issues that are still there, things are honestly better for us now than they have ever been in history. Religious freedom wasn’t always available, and maybe it isn’t perfect, but we’re not getting tarred and feathered, burned at the stake, or anything close in America, and that is seriously saying something. We have incredible access to knowledge: today, we don’t have to travel ten miles in the blazing sun or ten-foot snow to learn most things. It’s all right there, somewhere in the great, big interweb, and it only takes a Google search to find it.

Then there are things like laptops and YA books and book blogs and YouTube and pop music and superhero movies and Khan Academy and Wal-Mart and Netflix and Amazon and Facebook groups and internet friends, and all the other awesome everyday things we take for granted. The fact that I can curl up on my bed with this skinny, little, notebook-like machine, open it up, press a button, and the machine lights up, like a mini star, is pretty cool in and of itself. But it gets better. Then I can load up a “program” (that I don’t actually understand but can still use, because of the century we live in), press a bunch of little buttons on my little machine, and words just materialize in front of me. And then I log onto the internet (another thing I don’t actually understand but can still use), press another couple of buttons and these virtual words just appear, somewhere in the universe, so that people literally all over this world can read what I have to say. Anyone who has “internet access” can have my little words show up on their little machine, as it lights up like a mini-star, and they can discover what some teen girl in middle-of-nowhere Virginia wants to say to them. They can comment and interact with me and we can actually have a conversation, both of us in the comfort of our own homes, hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. One of my best friends and I haven’t seen each other since May, but we still talk at least once a week; I have friends in three countries and I-don’t-even-know-how-many-states, and for all of this, it doesn’t take but a second for us to communicate.

That. Is. Amazing.

And it’s only possible because we live right here. Right now. In the midst of crappy 2017 with all of its various difficulties and political problems and social justice issues and everything else that is wrong with this world. Yes, there are parts of this century that suck. Yes, parts of it are even dangerous. But today, I’d still like you to smile. You’re reading this post, and that in and of itself is pretty amazing. 😊

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  1. Amen. That is so true. We forget this so often but it's so important- things in this time are amazing and great and we need to thank God that we live now.

  2. SOOOOOOOO good. Life is depressing at times. But know what? Saying over and over, "Life is horrid. People are idiots. The world is corrupt and selfish." Doesn't help AT ALL. While this may be true - it's not changing anything. And it's making us feel horrid inside. Don't embrace the evil, but smile and dance and fix things. I just want to tell so many people, "Stop ranting and start doing." Of course I have to remember to do the same myself, and not be a hypocrite ;)

    We are the molders of the future - let's make it good :D

  3. This is such a pure and wonderful post. Needed among all the negativity.

  4. Thank you! I feel like a lot of people get like 'oh life sucks, 2017 sucks', but it really doesn't. At least, for most of the people complaining on the internet, their problems are often valid but also not as big as they are made out to be. It's easy to forget we have food and family and a dry house to live in and things are a-okay. Some political situations might be a mess (reasons not to live i nthe US or UK) but many things are far better than they used to me.
    Bi-racial people like me aren't called 'half castes' and excluded from both sections of society.
    Also, it's important to remember that (especially in developing countries) there are lots of people who don't have access to all the amazing things we do. It's easy to take things for granted, but it's good not to.

  5. This is so true! I'm also diabetic and I get to live. Heck, because I live in Ireland and am on a medicsl card scheme, I don't even have to pay for my medication most of the time! That's a blessing, I tell you.

    And I can read! And write pretty well and my library is awesome because I don't really feel as much pressure to buy books (unless they're self published :P). I don't really experience racism where I live despite there not being a large amount of black people. Of course, there are some ignorant racist jokes against other minorities (travellers, Romanians, Asians) but I'm just glad that things are better.

    Thank you for this post. It's good to have some optimism!

  6. We do live in amazing and stimulating times. Not all is doom and gloom.

    I love history and so I read it as much as possible. I like the perspective it gives me when I'm considering my century and how I live today. I try to imagine how it would have been in 1100s or 1700s. If I had no other frame of reference, I would probably be extolling the amazing and stimulating times of Henry II or Ben Franklin. Very thought-provoking post today. Thanks so much for it.

  7. Thank you for the great post! That was just what I needed in the midst of all this craziness going on.


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