Looking on the bright side
So is this cause for dismay? To some, it might be. As for me, however, perhaps the right thing to do in a situation like this is to try to find the bright side.
I can distinctly remember my arrival here in this modern world, so many months ago. It was a delightful, sunny day, full of the promise of discovery, the exhilaration of new experiences. I was so excited to be here, and to learn of the fate of this new country that I had been a part of making.
Evolution after Revolution
My first joy was learning that it had, indeed, survived the test of time. Secondly, I was also happy to see that even with all that the nation had been through since 1776, it was still in a continual state of evolution after the Revolution. Many things had changed, certainly. But many more were still relatively the same. Being a shining light for all, a bastion of democracy, was still the prevailing spirit of the land (even though some of that spirit has become a bit jaded, a bit time-worn by all the challenges to liberty that it had endured).
Politicians still argue and debate, of course; liberals still find themselves at odds with conservatives; and the middle class (which I had originally predicted would be the backbone and foundational strength of this new nation) is still here, although somewhat reduced in numbers due to the unfortunate government policies of the last several years.
So what is still right?
Although I’ve received a few odd looks from people as I’ve strolled about this 21st century world (that could have something to do with my historical dress… lace, ruffles, britches, and all), by and large I have received a very warm reception from the people here. And that is a good thing. If large numbers can still muster a smile, a word of welcome, an offer of hospitality, then even the political deadlocks and financial crises that many complain about can not be that bad, in comparison. And believe me, having firsthand knowledge as I do of the ugly moods of people in the 1700s, when their backs were up against the wall because of oppression, poverty, or other circumstances, I can truthfully say that I have not encountered that same bleak, hopeless, desolate environment in these times of today.
Going along with that, I can also detect a continued optimism and idealism that still inspires citizens to be inventive, creative, and entrepreneurial. And that is also good. We still have new companies and new products sprouting up every day. And what drives many of these is the desire to make life better, to do good things for others. And, after all, that is what it is all about. My own motivation was exactly the same as I pursued my inventing – doing good to improve the lot of this world.
Thirdly, as I look about the present-day political landscape, I see the tremendous strides that have been made since colonial times: freedom and equality for all races; more citizens being enfranchised with the power to vote; and an increasing leveling of the playing field, so that even women and members of minorities are able to seek (and win!) political office.
Finally, we are, as a country, still here, still alive, and still very much a force to be reckoned with – despite all the counter-challenges encountered on a daily basis.
So, putting this all into perspective, for a time traveler as myself who wonders about the very reason for his presence here in this strange new future world, I can say in all honesty that I feel very encouraged and cheered by the knowledge of how well this country has done since my time.
Although, on a personal note, however, I have to confess that I am still a little concerned as to how long this little time traveling visit of mine to the 21st century will last. I fear I may be waking up in 1700s Philadelphia any day now.
Your humble servant,