A glimpse of freedom

Sometimes, a brief moment in time, however trivial, can remain perpetually with you.  One such moment beamed its way into my consciousness around 1979.  I was working as a camp counselor and having the time of my life.  Almost every day after camp, a big group of us got together to hang out, drink beer, and listen to our favorite albums.

One day, my brother picked me up in my parents' Gran Torino.  Heading home, windows open, wind blowing on my suntanned face, I experienced the most profound and dazzling sensation of my life.  It was freedom.  I basked in the realization that this notion of sweet liberty was allowable and even possible in that point in time.  I remember wondering if that light would strike again and if others had experienced it, too.  I also wondered if and how things would change.

Much has happened to our country since 1979.  Countless laws and much legislation have passed, much of it good, but much of it redolent of the "nanny state" we're becoming.  I'm sorry for kids and teens today — sorry that they are consumed by toxic forms of technology tracking their every move, sorry for societal conventions that restrict all autonomy and inhibit intellectual growth.  I feel bad that this generation is exposed to cultural depravity like none other seen in our time.  I feel bad that TV and music have few uplifting qualities.

Reports of teen suicide, depression, and loneliness surface with woeful regularity.  How can a young person under these circumstances experience any sense of freedom, let alone a moment like the one I experienced of luminous, blissful peace and emancipation?

Now we hear that the new generation is okay with socialism.  We can explain to them why that type of government is bad and how it has wrought darkness everywhere it was employed.  I'm not sure that tactic would work.  Much of the younger set is already mired in gloom and doom.  How can we give them a glimpse of how things were when we were uninhibited by newly transformed cultural mores and edicts that, under the guise of helping, serve only to control?

I'm glad I grew up when I did.  I'm sorry those times had to go. 

Sometimes, a brief moment in time, however trivial, can remain perpetually with you.  One such moment beamed its way into my consciousness around 1979.  I was working as a camp counselor and having the time of my life.  Almost every day after camp, a big group of us got together to hang out, drink beer, and listen to our favorite albums.

One day, my brother picked me up in my parents' Gran Torino.  Heading home, windows open, wind blowing on my suntanned face, I experienced the most profound and dazzling sensation of my life.  It was freedom.  I basked in the realization that this notion of sweet liberty was allowable and even possible in that point in time.  I remember wondering if that light would strike again and if others had experienced it, too.  I also wondered if and how things would change.

Much has happened to our country since 1979.  Countless laws and much legislation have passed, much of it good, but much of it redolent of the "nanny state" we're becoming.  I'm sorry for kids and teens today — sorry that they are consumed by toxic forms of technology tracking their every move, sorry for societal conventions that restrict all autonomy and inhibit intellectual growth.  I feel bad that this generation is exposed to cultural depravity like none other seen in our time.  I feel bad that TV and music have few uplifting qualities.

Reports of teen suicide, depression, and loneliness surface with woeful regularity.  How can a young person under these circumstances experience any sense of freedom, let alone a moment like the one I experienced of luminous, blissful peace and emancipation?

Now we hear that the new generation is okay with socialism.  We can explain to them why that type of government is bad and how it has wrought darkness everywhere it was employed.  I'm not sure that tactic would work.  Much of the younger set is already mired in gloom and doom.  How can we give them a glimpse of how things were when we were uninhibited by newly transformed cultural mores and edicts that, under the guise of helping, serve only to control?

I'm glad I grew up when I did.  I'm sorry those times had to go.