The world is much as it was fifty years ago. Cities and towns have grown; infrastructure has been modernized. Children are seen walking to school. Politics is as enigmatic as ever. Technology has awakened an era of precision and accessibility. Wrist watches have recaptured utility over cosmetics. Doing anything and everything remotely or on-line is now the fashion; it attaches to university courses, employment, stock trading and shopping. Some worry an isolation is developing. I believe functionality will trump novelty and curiosity; and that we shall restore our erstwhile itch for socializing. The parasitic stigma of technology will in time lapse unobserved like air, rain and sunshine.

We continue to absorb ourselves in the past; and frighten ourselves about what is to come. Success (which capitalism has succeeded to translate primarily to money) insinuates whatever varieties of literature, music, theatre, film, fashion or automobiles there are.  In the process we haven’t lost the primitive features of talent and hard work. The human intellect is captivating and reassuring.

Religion and racism have – in North America at least – taken a blow. Mysticism has morphed into new dynamics of spirituality but seemingly with less vein of sin and atonement. White people are startled to learn that humans of any race are pretty much the same. It poses an unfamiliar logical subterfuge of former inclinations. And if you believe the pundits (which I do not) the American south in particular is determined to revolt. Paradoxically we have Hitler and Mussolini (not to mention centuries of oligarchs) to thank for the reminder of the peril of hatred. And while China and Russia may seek to sanctify totalitarian rule there is ample evidence that workable alternatives are at hand. The world has come alive to the need for thoughtful government. There is a thirst among young people to improve upon the behaviour of their predecessors, a devotion heightened by broader exposure to world affairs as they unfold.

Against this summary optimism is the unchangeable nature of humanity, its readiness to get into the mud and straighten things out. Very often the urge to be on top typifies the picture. This puts us back into the money that everyone likes to quip must be followed.

Speaking for myself, things have changed.  Sure, the basics of getting up in the morning, having to buy and cook food, bathing and so forth, yes, those things linger. Unquestionably the difference now is having succumbed to the inability of old age (or what more generously may be referred to as retirement). All the predictable events and matters have transpired; so, the immortality of the universe also characterizes my private universe. I am mainly convinced very little will change the course of humanity but I am equally assured that my life has evolved upon a new and clarified existence. Understandably not having to get out of bed before 7:00 am helps. At times I regret not doing what traditionally I thought of as meaningful. But I tranquillize that gusto by acknowledging I couldn’t do it anyway!