It’s getting better

The state of the world.

I admit, there is a lot about today that is downright terrible.  So many shootings.  So much terrible news.  The entire conspiracy to destroy public education.  But…

Things are getting better.  I really think they are.

1. You can breathe in elevators and airplanes and schools now that there are no-smoking laws.

2.  I no longer need white gloves, a hat, hose and a girdle to leave the house.  While I don’t go to Walmart in my pajamas, I just pull on pants and a shirt and I’m ready to go.

3. As a child, I was very afraid we were all going to die, and soon, from an atomic bomb.  We practiced hiding under our desks.  I was pulled inside when there were lots of contrails in the air just in case it was the attack.  I wanted a fallout shelter like the ones advertised in the Sunday paper.   Now, death by atomic weapons no longer seems imminent.

4.  The Berlin Wall came down.  Germany reunited.  I remember when it went up.  I was a German teacher; I knew the history and it felt like a permanent condition.  Then we had a miracle.  When I visited Berlin after reunification I just cried because it was so unreal that the Wall was just gone.

5. Humans walked on the moon.  I stayed up late that night to watch the grainy picture on the small black and white TV and, when it was over, I went outside to look at the moon.  It looked no different, but everything had changed.

The most important change, though, was the expansion of ‘peoplehood.’  When I was a child, to my parents, I don’t think the immigrants from Japan and Mexico were quite people, and I’m pretty sure African-Americans weren’t. They sure weren’t ‘us.’  Now…we’re us.  We’re white and black and multi-racial and we’re all people. We’re neuro-typical and on the spectrum and we’re all people. Today, especially,  as the Supreme Court rules for marriage equality, we’re heterosexual and LBGQT and we’re all people.

I’m not Pollyanna.  America has a race problem.  We have too few people controlling far too much of the money.  We have terrible poverty and hunger.  But…it’s better than it was.  We have a long, long way to go, but, today, it’s getting better.

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