Always Repeating Itself
2016 seems like it's an ordeal. Sometimes it doesn't feel like we're going to make it to 2017, because who knows what might happen next? Any crazy terrible thing! Nothing is off the table.
Here's what I think is going on.
You may know from previous writings that I'm into the Strauss-Howe generational cycle theory. If you're not familiar with it, here's the upshot: every eighty years, give or take, society will go through a period of about twenty years, give or take, called a Crisis era. In a Crisis era, it will feel like everything is coming to an end, like things can't go on like this any longer, and like we have to solve all of our giant problems right now. It's a time in which crumbling institutions finally give up the ghost, and new ones are born, and a time in which children are overprotected to the point of feeling smothered. Previous Crisis eras in North America have featured the Depression+World War II, the Civil War+Canadian Confederation, and the American Revolution.
My intention is not to try to sell anybody on the generational cycle theory. If you want to look into it and you think it makes sense, great; if not, great. My point is this: there have been tough times, tumultuous times, before, and they have been survived. The challenges all around us are serious, but we can, if we try, cope with them. We can, maybe, solve problems and make things better. We may be able to come out the other end of this with a better society than the one we have now.
It's not the end of the world and it's not a time to despair. It's a dangerous time, yes, but also an opportunity to do some good. It's a time to keep our hands on the wheel, in whatever way makes the most sense to you.
So don't let it get you down. If, as I suspect, the Crisis era began on September 11th, 2001, then we've still got a few more years of this kinda action to go, but... it's fine. This is the kind of thing that people deal with, and wouldn't we rather that we were those people, rather than some other bunch? This is history, and we're in it. We should act like it.