What’s the most important thing I have learned? It has to do with that frog that sits complacently in a pot of water as a fire beneath it finally heats the water to a boil, to the unwitting detriment of the frog. As I grew older, I was sure that the world was getting worse. Period. People had become as complacent as the frog, and increasingly more entitled. Politicians misled us and stole from us with increasing facility and impunity. The media had become hopelessly shrill and blatantly biased. Vested interests and powerful lobbies had corrupted the agencies built to supervise them. Young people were hopelessly self-centered, foolish, eager to follow every pied piper off any available cliff.
Now I think the world is probably either very little better or very little worse than it was when I was ten. Of course it has changed; it always does, but its basic themes remain largely the same. What has changed, much more than anything else, is me.
I note that the word “liberty” does not appear at all in your paen to “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Is there a reason for that?
Are you as free today as your were when we were kids? Has our world changed not at all in terms of that metric?
Buy me a large soda and we’ll discuss it over cigarettes at your favorite restaurant.