Tuesday, October 21, 2008

History repeating

Dear Baby,

You have picked a very eventful time in history to be born. Right now, you are about 4 months cooked and the world is in the middle of an economic crisis. The cost of food is rising. Unemployment is rising. People are losing their homes; some are victims of circumstance and some were greedy and made decisions they did not understand. The US is fighting two wars overseas (your uncle is currently back in Iraq, but he'll be getting out by the time you are born). Banks, insurance companies and brokers are shutting their doors or being bailed out by the government. People that have saved money all their lives in hopes of retiring soon, may have to put off retirement because their investments have lost so much value. In a recent poll, 89% of Americans think this country is headed in the wrong direction.

But don't worry too much about all that because there are some positive improvements happening as well. People are starting to become more responsible---for their impact on the earth, for the gas they consume, for the waste they produce, for the water they waste. They are striving to become more efficient, in an effort to conserve what we have. More and more people are growing their own food and getting back to basics like sewing and carpentry. Generally speaking, people are starting to become more self-aware and less selfish in their decisions. I guess we are all worried about the future and that is driving us to be better. No one wants to be part of the problem when they can be part of the solution. Most exciting of all, we are exactly 2 weeks away from electing a new president in the US.
Your father would like to add, "the good news in all of this is that there is a lot of positive energy and a lot of people in this country that are hoping to turn this country around in a more positive direction." He just attended a rally and James Taylor concert in downtown Raleigh today, and "came away with a very good feeling about our chances on making a difference in where our country is headed on election day."

As of right now, it looks like the US will elect the first black man in history to be president of the United States. His name is Barack Obama. And your father and I are very excited by the possibility that he will win, although the election is not over yet. Regardless, I am starting to worry for this man and his family. I'm afraid there are some people in the country that not only do not want Obama to be elected, but they are also making threats against him. You see, these people have the wrong idea about Obama. They have been told that Obama has terrorists for friends and they blindly accept this as fact. These mistaken people think that Obama is a Muslim, an Arab, a Socialist---all sorts of things they have deemed terrible. I can't imagine how much this must hurt good people that are Muslims, Arabs or Socialists to hear these modifiers being thrown around like insults. I'm frightened that obviously ignorant people armed with misinformation and driven by anger will do something rash. Essentially, these people are transforming into zealots, much like the zealots they hate so much in other cultures. They rightly despise the people in the Middle East that scream "death to America", while they themselves yell "off with his head" at a domestic political rally. So let this be the first lesson to you baby, do not blindly believe things that people tell you---especially politicians and people on TV. Always check the facts before you act on anything.

Look kid, none of this is meant to scare you. As a wise man once said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." I just think it's good for you to know the world that you were born into. I hope by the time you can read and comprehend this, that the world has improved for the better. I hope from the vantage point of the future, you can look back on 2009 as the year everything changed. In the meantime, your father and I are trying to do everything in our power to support the most rational and thoughtful course of action as possible to secure your future.

The people who fed you cake last night

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