The Wheel of Outlook
In the 1950s, my mother taught me that the United States was the true shining city on the hill, that we had defeated Evil once and for all, that within a few more years we would have righted all our wrongs, corrected all our mistakes, stamped out poverty and discrimination, and achieved universal enlightenment… that everything was going to be OK!
In the 1960s, I grew up… and concluded that, based on the evidence, it might take a little more time and effort.
In the 1970s, I became cynical and pessimistic… until I realized that the world view you sustain with your expectations tends to become the world you view.
In the 1980s and 1990s, I got busy building a family and a life… deliberately and determinedly behaving as if I believed my mother was right after all.
In the 2000s, I grew up again… and regressed again… and experimented with a superposition of cynicism and optimism, because why not?
In the 2010s, well… see 1960s.
In the 2020s, see 1970s. Except when I hear Biden express optimism and hope, I’m reminded of my mother.