Sunday, October 19, 2008

What about today?

When I checked my email this morning I received the most annoying forward from my aunt. It was entitled “Black and White” and detailed all the nostalgic wonders of the 1950s. It was filled with ridiculous photos and some equally ridiculous statements like, “My mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning” or “we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.” There were also, bizarrely, four references to spanking children.

Nostalgia bothers me as a rule. Not only is it unwarranted and silly because we can never go back to that time, it discredits how far our society has come in the past 60 years. Even though we are in the midst of a huge financial crisis, today’s news is a perfect example of why we should be celebrating the future not the past. Colin Powell took the bold and unexpected step of endorsing Barack Obama for president. We’ve been waiting for years for Powell to break publicly from the Bush-era mistakes, and today he did so with force. His comments were inspiring and thoughtful; his reasoning regarding the campaigns of Obama and McCain was totally on point. But most of all he gave me hope that there will be change, that everyone’s belief in Obama is not hollow or too idealistic.

This exciting news coupled with the announcement of Obama’s huge fundraising gains makes me happy to be living in 2008. Over 3 million people have contributed their hard-earned money to the man who could be the first black president of the United States. We do not need nostalgia in such exciting times. The forward ends by encouraging the recipient to “pass this to someone and remember that life's most simple pleasures are very often the best.” I agree; life’s most simple(and modern) pleasures—equality, positive social advances, and a hope in our collective future—are the very best!

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