My wife and I recently found ourselves out on the town with a half hour to kill before we needed to meet her parents for a dinner date, so we went to a local bookstore to browse for a bit. Having distinctly different tastes in books, she went her way and I went mine. I found myself standing in front of the history titles. I couldn’t put my finger on the reason, but as I stood there, I could feel my mood crashing.
I’ve grown up in an age of exceptional prosperity and security. Even with the threat of nuclear annihilation hanging over our heads, it was always a theoretical possibility that never really touched us. It never happened. Because it’s all I’ve ever known, I tend to assume that such peace is normal. Reviewing history books suggests that the assumption is not a safe one to make. I find it hard these days to maintain a sense of optimism for the future. It feels as though we are waking up from a delightful nap and re-entering history. I’d rather go back to sleep, thank you very much.