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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • It is the best of times...

  • This frequent quote from Charles Dickens' “A Tale of Two Cities” someday will best describe the generation that we currently live. We exist in a day of modern high technology that was purely science fiction in the 1950s and 1960s when I grew up.
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  • This frequent quote from Charles Dickens' “A Tale of Two Cities” someday will best describe the generation that we currently live. We exist in a day of modern high technology that was purely science fiction in the 1950s and 1960s when I grew up. Thanks to personalized computers, in the time it once took to stamp a letter you can compose your message, send it and receive a reply. We enjoy watching our favorite TV programs on a wide screen high definition set with literally hundreds of channels to choose from. In the “old days” there were three or maybe four stations to watch and it was all in black and white. But if you still long for the “thrilling days of yesteryear” DVD technology makes it possible to view those favorite old programs again and again. Photography enthusiasts often had to wait a week to 10 days to see the results of their efforts from the color labs that developed and processed the film. Today, photos can be downloaded to the PC in seconds. No camera. No problem. Just grab your i-Phone and snap those cute photos of the kids and grandkids. Music, the latest news and almost any book that you can imagine is now available at your fingertips, literally, on your laptops and i-Pads. However, not all the news about modern technology is good. The post office is going the way of the Pony Express. Newspapers, a fixture in this country from almost its inception in the late 1700s, are rapidly following the dinosaur into distinction. Kids are getting fatter and fatter because they are too busy punching the control buttons on computers and videogames that they no longer have time to go outdoors and run and play until they nearly drop. The fertile imagination is also disappearing. When I was a child, I created my own games to play. It was called creative energy. Today, some game-maker is dreaming up ways to capture your child's imagination and most of the time that is not for the best. They are doing the thinking for our children. What a shame. Many of today's kids will never experience the excitement of pretend. Every day I count my blessings and thank God that I was born in this particular generation. I have witnessed, through modern inventions, man's first step on the moon, flown above the Earth at incredible speeds and many other things that my grandparents didn't even dream about. We are rapidly becoming a cell phone, Face Book dependent generation moving farther and farther away from up close and personal relationships. Americans are a people on the go that no longer has the time or the patience to simply stop and smell the roses. The now generation certainly faces a lot of challenges and problems as technology continues to advance. Somehow, online pornography and identify theft – something unheard of as recently as 15 to 20 years ago – must be handled. In many instances my children's generation has it a lot better than I did. Ditto for me and my father and mother's generation. However, that doesn't mean they won't have a tough road to hoe. Despite the technological marvels of the 21st century, our kids face a very uncertain economic future. And that is something that not even a computer or i-Pad can fix. In closing I would like to paraphrase the sentiments of a great comedian and philosopher Bill Cosby, who once said with all the problems this world is facing today, I think I am glad I am on the way out instead of just coming in.

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