Thursday, November 17, 2016

Nostalgia and Change

I’ve given a lot of thought to what happened in our recent national election. It’s obvious that many people voted for change. That was a theme when Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and for Donald Trump this year. So what kind of change are people looking for? Those who have suffered economic downturns are seeking to get back to where they were in the past. This is a valid concern.

But there is another dimension to seeking change. It is based on nostalgia. My wife and I go through this at times. We lament that as kids we had the ability to go out and roam through our neighborhoods from morning until dusk. Kids can’t do this anymore. We miss those days. When I started working, many people in the middle class had career paths with good opportunities for advancement and raises. We were able to purchase a house early in our marriage. Today careers are more chaotic, many people are received no raises for years or minimal ones at best, and it is extremely difficult for young couples to buy a starter home.

This emotional pull to the nostalgia of a better time can overwhelm the logical perspective that many things have improved in our country. We need to find the balance of positive change that moves the country forward with inclusion and a impetus to improve conditions for all members of society.

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