Published on November 3, 2020

Thinking about the past, present

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

My son is the youngest, and his birthday is in October. Happy birthday, son. With each passing birthday, I realize that I, too, am getting older. Much older in fact, since I was 36 when my eldest was born.

While I’m getting older, technology keeps the world spinning faster. But when it comes to family, things are still pretty much the same way as always.

I am fortunate to have a part in the birth of my children and was there for the birth of my grandchildren. They all live nearby, and I can see them frequently. As the years pass by, I think about all the changes I have witnessed and the ones that my children and grandchildren will see in their lifetime.

I have seen the U.S. involved in 5 major conflicts in my lifetime; Vietnam and The Gulf War had the most impact. I did not serve, but many friends and acquaintances did, and too many gave their all for our country. I hope my grandchildren see none of these during their lifetime.

I have seen the birth of the transistor, flight to the moon, men on the moon, space shuttles, hybrid automobiles, electric automobiles, the birth of self-driving automobiles, drones in many applications and the computer evolving from punch cards, to tape, to electronic memory and solid state drives.

The Internet has evolved from dial-up access to streaming media on varied platforms. Telephones have evolved from land line-encumbered, to analog bag phones and then to phones that have multiple times the memory of the first computer with which I worked.

We (of my age) probably haven’t experienced as much change in the world as our parents and grandparents saw during their lifetime.

I can remember when everyone didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing. The world started shrinking with each innovation during their and our lifetime. Things that our children take for granted are things that people a short 70 years ago couldn’t even visualize.

The true visionaries foresaw flying cars, totally self-sustaining homes (becoming closer to reality day by day), noninvasive surgical procedures and more, limited only by the imagination of the individual.
We are caught between the optimist’s view of a glorious, life-enhancing future and the pessimist’s view of the world in chaos and the coming of the rapture.

I choose to believe that we aren’t approaching the end time, but a world of promise and advancement. I want my children, grandchildren, and yours also to have a better and richer world in which to live.
And that we can be united. I pray we can bring our nation to a healing of the fractured, factionalized one we have today.

A nation in which people recognize that character, not skin color, determines the worth of a man; recognition that people strive to achieve their dreams, taking their own path to that end; people recognizing that different beliefs and philosophies are best understood through rational discussion.

No one can be heard while screaming at one another and not listening to or evaluating their thoughts. No technological advancement can bring this about. It has to come from the heart.
I believe that this healing begins with me and you.

(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at eforbes1946@gmail.com or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)