That's what my mom claims anyway. She's turning 71 next week, and sometime around age 23 or so, I started to realize that I actually didn't know everything. So I started voluntarily seeking pearls of wisdom from my elders.
Donald Trump. ISIS. Brexit. The NRA's unholy union with Congress. Syria. Venezuelan famine. Recessions. The whole MIddle East shit show. Climate Change. Racism. Sexism. Xenophobia. Homophobia.
Undeniably, the world seems to be in bad shape; maybe worse than it's ever been. But is that really just a matter of perspective? My mom seems to think so.
"Seriously, Mom. Is this the worst it's ever been?," I asked on her last visit here.
"Nah!" she exclaimed optimistically. "It's always been this bad! It's just that when we were kids, we worried we'd get polio and become paralyzed, and had to hide under our school desks preparing for a hydrogen bomb to drop on top of us."
I tilted my head to the side, trying to decide the implications of this for our current dilemmas.
Sensing my skepticism, my mom offered helpfully: "Look. Eveyone always thinks the world is ending, but it never does. It always just feels like it will. And people will always feel like the world is about to end. But it won't. Not in our lifetimes, anyway."
In case you were wondering, this is the closest we get to unbridled optimism and sentimentality in my family.