IamA 92 year old former educator with 4 AMA's behind me, and I'm back for one more AMA!
I recognize how fortunate I have always been as a member of America's white middle-class. Serving my country in World War II, I look back on a charmed life. With few unavoidable setbacks, I've had a fulfilling and satisfying life. I've doted on raising a family of four children and nine grandchildren, two "marriages" and a profession as an educator. As a school principal I've had a satisfactory income and felt richly rewarded by making a difference in young people's lives. I've lived through a Great Depression, a world war and a variety of police actions and other world crises. Unfortunately I've seen my country make mistakes - above all its failure to provide freedom and equality for ALL citizens. Yet I have always felt that the trajectory of progress has been in an upward spiral. That a “New World,” a "promised land" has been the goal of my beloved country. That is until the past election! Now living within two miles from the headquarters of the swamp—the White House—I found it difficult to avoid depression in my terminal years.
Yes, I'm now a 92-Year-Old Optimist Who Almost Became Depressed Thinking About the Future of My Country I'm appalled by the leadership of my country. It's inconceivable to me that my fellow country men and women have chosen a president who represents and exhibits the worst of what I've known America to aspire to be. I once thought "American exceptionalism" was a positive seeking to provide equal opportunity and freedom for all. Now the executive branch of government projects a aura of leadership by wealth and power bordering on the fascist model. And equally frustrating is a divided second branch of government, the Congress, which is paralyzed by divisiveness putting party over principle. And I fear where the judiciary might soon take us.
The status quo seemed hopeless until I saw first hand two recent events that gave me hope for the future. Truly I see a REVOLUTION: a turning away from stale male led divisiveness by involving: *The long ignored leadership skills of women, and *The enthusiasm, resilience and idealism of youth as shown by youth of Parkland and Stoneman Douglas High School.
Yet in these turbulent times there are at least three other ingredients from my experience that I feel are vital for securing change. 1. The wisdom and insights of sages, prophets and solons bringing historic perspective and advice from the past to solve new problems. 2. Finding new or restored groups and activities to bring citizens together in constructive and meaningful ways. The malaise of separateness that exists in our country today, far exceeds anything I have seen in the past. 3. Exposing hypocrisy and demanding truth from all segments of our society.
My lifelong optimism has been fueled by continuing to have communication with young people. Indeed, that was enhanced by four previous AMA's! I hope this fifth attempt will continue this conversation with the youth of Reddit that has been so meaningful to me.
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