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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

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Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

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Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity

Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"


Featured Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds




March, 2009
8, Number 3

This Month's Article

The Good New Days

Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this world’s gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn't seem so hazy.

Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days)
—The Judds

Last week I heard the song Grandpa, Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days, and I thought, “What good old days are they singing about?”

Were they singing about the 60’s when our inspirational leaders were assassinated: JFK in 1963, Martin Luther King in April 1968, and Robert Kennedy the following June after winning the California presidential primary? The 60’s, when our classmates were dying in the rice paddies of Vietnam or being beaten in streets and campuses for protesting the war? Our world was in upheaval from Paris to Mexico City, urban U.S.A. to rural China. A worldwide cultural revolution took many forms but was violent, divisive and heart-rending. It was all about the discontent of youth with the status quo, and discontent with injustices, inhumanity and materialism. It dramatized the grief of shattered idealism.

Perhaps they were singing about the 50’s, which began with fighting communists in Korea. Then cold war demagogues smeared reputations for domestic political gain, nurturing fear of the “red menace”. It was a time of facing the legacy of slavery, and non-violent Civil Rights demonstrations that turned bloody. The specter of atomic war turned many suburban lawns into underground bomb shelters.

The “good old days” couldn’t have been about the 40’s when the world was at war and Nazism revealed the darkest side of inhumanity. It couldn’t have been about the 30’s when economic depression ravaged the world. Were the “good old days” the 20’s when women didn’t have the right to vote and people could die from childhood diseases? Were they the years of the first World War, or the years before, when children worked in factories, sweatshops and slaughterhouses — long hours in unhealthy conditions for pennies a day?

With due respect for the romantic nostalgia of the country ballad, I think that we need a new song. The new song should be titled, Granddaughter, Tell Me ‘Bout the Good New Days! It is true, that every generation has a mission and problems to confront that end up defining them. There is a certain euphoria that comes from the united effort guided by an ideal that brings people together in every age. The challenges and even sacrifices build character and evoke their potentials, shaping their unique contribution to history and making them feel that their time was the best of times even as they faced adversity.

Today we are in the midst of an evolutionary shift that will create a qualitatively different world for humanity. The monumental problems of environment, economics and ethnic, religious and ideological conflicts are the testing ground that will temper the new generation. With the election of Barack Obama in the United States, we have a dramatic catalyst for the next generation of leaders. He has set a standard for leadership chosen because of merit and an inspiring vision. He is a transcendent individual who has and will help many transcend their own limitations and outworn habits. In addition, the technological tools for the younger generation will enable them to create a global network of activism, which is already evident in the many organizations and communities dedicated to creatively solving problems, exposing harmful actions, and making life more equitable, safe, and just. This network for good is vibrant and will replace mordant institutions.

It would be easy to be pessimistic, but the “good new days” would not be possible without the upheaval that is plowing the fields for new seeds and new growth. As noted above, every decade of the twentieth century posed a critical test for each new generation. People charged with the challenges rose to their task, and were successful in laying the groundwork for the next evolutionary step. Today, the magnitude of the problems and the necessity for cooperation to resolve them, demand that new approaches be undertaken on a global scale.  The new generation is naturally equipped to do this. They are psychologically and spiritually more evolved, and they intuitively understand the techniques of communities of shared interests.

Bombarded with all the negative press about global problems, the new generation is coming of age in a new cycle of service. Their service will be unique, for they have the benefit of all past efforts and achievements. They will creatively bring together diverse approaches and create new recipes for creating new solutions. The technologies that they use will instantly enable them to tell their stories and impact the direction that humanity is moving. People, with no limits on geography or condition, will be able to inspire one another and encourage and support one another.

The “good new days” is an attitude of optimism that is bred of a mind free of limitations. It seizes problems as opportunities, and willingly works for the benefit of others. Those who are trapped by the past cannot see our present wealth of opportunity. They are a drag on the forward progress of humanity. The force of progress, however, is irresistible, and people who are unable to adapt will disappear in the wake it leaves behind.

© 2009 Richard V. Sidy


Read Related Articles

Beyond Ideology: The Politics of the Future

Moving Forward

Can Idealism Solve Problems?

Living Without an Enemy

World Peace in Less Than a Month?


Making Friends


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Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

Diplomacy Help for Teens Science and Religion Poetry Archives
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