“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali
I have thought about this quote all weekend. I have tried to reflect on what has changed in my life and my world in thirty years and what effect it has had on me.
As I have gotten older, my views have become much more liberal, much more compassionate. Keep in mind my starting point was a young adult growing-up in a Ronald Reagan dominated world. President Reagan set a very conservative tone for the United States. That tone extended into economics, religion, and our military. Issues in the middle-east were becoming more prevalent as U.S. supported puppet regimes were toppled and Israel became more defiant and aggressive in protecting its turf. Evangelical’s began flexing both their religious and political muscle with the strong support of Reagan. This set an ugly trend of mixing politics with religion which carries on today.
Economically our country was entering into a severe recession. I was fortunate to have found a job out of college but my wife was unable too. It was struggle, but a struggle that strengthened our resolve and marriage and prepared us for future challenges.
Thirty years later and I am no longer a fan of Ronald Reagan, his policies or his views. I don’t hold him in any reverence as so many in the republican party do today. But I see in many of the Trump supporters, these fifty and sixty years old and a new crop of young Reagan republicans, citizens who relish the idea of a man who will seemingly answer to no one and will step on any and everyone’s toes no matter the consequences. The issues in the middle-east have escalated to a point unimaginable thirty years ago and Israel continues to be in the center of this bad blood.
A lot has changed in the world in thirty years and a lot hasn’t, some of it is just new packaging. I have changed. Things that were important to me then seem like a distant memory now.
My view, life is a circle and my impression is that we may be circling back to a very dark time in our country. The next six months will be very telling about my children’s future. I worry about their future, I worry about their happiness, I worry about their well-being. Have my views changed in thirty years? Yes, my children have changed my views. I can now see beyond my life. I understand now, as many twenty year-olds still believe, that I am not the center of the universe, that my happiness and success is not the most important thing in the world.
Have your views changed?