“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel by Charles Dickens.
If ever there was a time to learn from history,
I was born in 1960:
“The Sixties were dominated by the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Protests, the 60s also saw the assassinations of US President John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Cuban Missile Crisis, and finally ended on a good note when the first man is landed on the moon.”
The Seventies were coined the “Me decade”. The Equal Rights Amendment, President Nixon resigning over Watergate, the Vietnam War ends and, “A ‘New Right’ mobilized in defense of political conservatism and traditional family roles, and the behavior of President Richard Nixon undermined many people’s faith in the good intentions of the federal government. By the end of the decade, these divisions and disappointments had set a tone for public life that many would argue is still with us today.”
The Eighties thrived under Reaganomics, bringing “yuppies”, the World Wide Web and cable television. A Brooklyn schoolteacher dies of AIDS in New York City. He is the 4th US citizen known to die from the illness. America’s military was involved in Iran, Beirut, Grenada, Libya and Panama.
The Nineties brought the Clinton era and the Lewinsky scandal, the Hubble Telescope, and the end of the Gulf War. Terrorist acts in NYC and Oklahoma City, kill 174 and wound thousands.
The Turn of the Century did not bring Y2K, but it did bring a new kind of terror when hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville field on September 11, 2001. Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President of the United States, Apple unveils the iPod, the iPhone, the Boston Red Sox win the World Series and Michael Phelps swims into the record books with eight Olympic gold medals. And still there are wars. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and on our own soil: Isis.
The writer said it well in Ecclesiastes 1:9:
John Winthrop, one of the earliest of America’s leaders wrote:“For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection, we must be willing to abridge our selves of our superfluities for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as His own people and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness, and truth then formerly we have been acquainted with.”
AUTHOR: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59)
QUOTATION: I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not there … in her fertile fields and boundless forests—and it was not there … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not there … in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE by Dwight D. Eisenhower in his final campaign address in Boston, Massachusetts, November 3, 1952. Unverified.
The last two sentences are attributed to de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America by Sherwood Eddy, The Kingdom of God and the American Dream, chapter 1, p. 6 (1941). This appears with minor variations in A Third Treasury of the Familiar, ed. Ralph L. Woods, p. 347 (1970), as “attributed to de Tocqueville but not found in his works.”
My message is this: GO VOTE. Don’t think that your vote doesn’t matter. It matters because you have God-given opportunity to influence the direction of this country. Land that I Love. Seize the day, friend–it doesn’t come again for four years.
There will be a day…