Are things better or worse than we think?

We live in troubled times. How often have you heard these words and think they surely apply to the times we live in? However, if you reflect on this thought for just a short time, you may question this assumption. Did our parents living through two world wars live in troubled times? Did those growing up with the European wars of the 1800’s live in troubled times? How about those living in the US during the War of Independence? How about those living in the Dark Ages or those living during the fall of the Roman Empire when the barbarians were overrunning Europe? How about those living during the Greek wars with Persia? How about living during the times described in the Bible when tribes routinely massacred other tribes? I wonder if Adam and Eve would have thought they lived in troubled times with an evil devil lurking about trying to seduce them. Indeed, can you find me a period in history that did not appear to be troubled?

You get the point by now I hope. It would seem that the entire history of the world is one long list of “troubled times.” Maybe life is really just one big Yin and Yang. Troubled and untroubled times routinely alternate with each other on a random basis. No particular sequence except that they are roughly even in their frequency. (I would like to think the untroubled times outnumber the troubled times, but I see no evidence of this either way) Thus, we might just as well say we live in untroubled times and that the history of the world could be seen as one vast period of tranquility. Like the question, “is the glass half full or half empty?” perhaps it all depends on your perspective.

War and peace, heaven and hell, happiness and pain, life and death, love and hate, they are all inescapable. Life goes on, time passes and what do you remember? Do you see a panorama of death and depression or do you see a panorama of life and hope? Do you think you are living in untroubled or troubled times? Can you think of any period in history you would prefer to live in? Why?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bgalbreath
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 11:31:51

    Yin and Yang are about alternating cycles within a static frame where everything winds up where it started. The Western view of time is directional rather than cyclical. It allows for hope of genuine progress, of things really getting better. Maybe that hope will turn out to have been a vain dream. It's too soon to tell, but I'm not ready to give up on it yet.



  2. John Persico
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 13:35:41

    One never fails until one quits. I love the thought that hope springs eternal in the human breast. Thanks for the comment.



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