In my younger, headier teenage days, my dad would talk about how “everything came back” after a certain amount of time. And, of course, being the super rebellious teenager I was (well, in terms of thought and emotions, at least), I’d say.. nah. My father would then proceed to be able to find influences in popular culture of things he’d been very much involved with in the 50s and 60s, TV shows, movies, and music (well, most music anyway, he was a big fan of vocal harmonies and doo-wop and would try to point this out with such 90s pop icons as Color Me Badd, and… insert-your-favorite-boy-band-here, for that, I’ll give him a half point…)
But, as I get a little bit older and start to better understand the world around me (does anyone ever completely understand everything about the world they live in? I don’t really think so), the prophecy begins to ring true again.
We live in a serious of constantly rotating circles.
Now, I’m not sure if this is a product of human nature, culture, religion, popular culture, science, philosophy or anything else, but just look at a few examples:
The stock market. It’s been about 20 years since the last major market correction of consequence, and it appears again as if the market is having itself an identity crisis. Will this one result in the collapse of society? Well, I sure hope not. That doesn’t really say much for society, does it?
Oil crisis. While the “recession” has had impact on oil prices, we had one of those in the late 70s as well. It’s my genuine hope that this one accelerates the much needed reduction of dependence on foreign oil (or domestic oil for that matter), and moves us spiraling into a generation of cleaner running vehicles that focus all of the technology we have available. Painful next 20 years, but long-term benefits make this almost a “good thing”.
Geopolitical crisis. from a relatively quiet 1990s through to now, we’ve got the specter of world crisis looming, if not as close as after the heavy emotional days following 9/11, then still off in the ether. Economic crisis The pressure of this looming crisis, referenced quite well in the Mad Men season finale called Meditations in an Emergency, where the threat posed by the Cuban Missile Crisis caused everyone to reevaluate priorities. Seems like that’s happening a lot now too.
Personal relationships. I’m sure in our personal lives, all of our relationships have a way of encircling as well. Friends fall out of favor, back into favor, out of touch, and into touch. This is what drives a lot of the social networking successes of the early 2000s – this fact that relationships that have fallen off the radar can be renewed so quickly, and often, very successfully (although, admittedly, it’s just as common to remember the reason you fell out of touch – just as quickly). And even in personal relationships, from day to day, people fly in and out of life. Family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, networks – they all apply.
Personal style. Well, this is certainly a point that can be argued, but you can easily say that style of today often has influences to the past. For example, I now wear a hat that my dad thought was cool 30 years ago, and I swore I’d never wear. I think in general, I personally wear too much retro baseball garb.
The point is, I think, that these circles are just that – at some point, all of these things will be changed for better or worse, and they’ll be in a slightly different state than they were yesterday. And I think this is where the change is always constant. And I’m believing that there’s no master control panel for life that will ever align these circles.
What circles do you guys see?