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In an age of uncertainty

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

When I went to university, my music professor bemoaned the state of contemporary music. He said there was a definite sound to the music of the Baroque or Classical or Romantic periods. With just a few notes one could say oh that is a Baroque piece or that is a piece from the Romance period. But he said that was difficult to do with modern music. Every few years someone comes up with a new innovation and music changes once more. Stravinsky gave way to the likes of Mahler, who in turn gave way to Philip Glass. Even in terms of modern popular music has had so many styles over the past fifty years: jazz, rock and roll, punk, disco, new wave, heavy metal, rap, etc. Nothing seems to last all that long.

Other entertainment choices have changed as well. In the 1950's television was said to the end of movies. Then huge movie franchises like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark had us rushing back to the theatre. Now movies seem to be on the wane once more as people are tuning into Netflix. The record players of the fifties soon gave way to 8 tracks and cassette tapes then CD's, digital downloads, and some people going back to vinyl records again. Everything seems to be in flux.

Even the way we spend money has changed. When I was young, cash was king. People used cash or wrote cheques for things in stores. Credit cards were not used all that much. Salaries were paid either in cash or via paycheques. I was in university when debit cards came in and probably in seminary when people began to use debit/EFTPOS machines. Now I don't carry much cash, don't even have personal cheques and use plastic cards to shop.

In the midst of such change, some people are holding on for dear life to those things that they think they can freeze in time. One only has to watch the news to see that people are trying to get the world to go back to the way that it used to be (at least in their minds). This has led to xenophobic, racist, sexist, and anti-diversification movements to gain traction in the world. These anti-change movements have made the world a less kind place where bullies are oppressing others just so they can hold on to their place of privilege in the world. Such bullies can be found in the media, politics and even in the church.

The thing is, no matter how hard some people try, our world is going to change. Nothing stays the same. We just have to decide what side of history we will be on- those who hold up progress or those who are promoting positive changes. Will we be on the side of those promoting kindness or promoting division? No not all change is good. People make mistakes and take missteps. But to be obstructionist just to maintain one's sense of power is never a good thing. Blessings

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