Friday, 21 October 2016

October 21, 2016 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   I am a wee bit behind - okay, a year behind - on reading some of my magazines so I’ve been doing a marathon reading session to catch up.

   One thing that I read recently pertained to how we compare attendance and participation nowadays in churches, clubs/organizations, schools, sports/recreation and more to the numbers we had in the 1950s and 1960s.

   The trouble is that the Baby Boom heyday of the 1950s and 1960s wasn’t a “normal” period of time.  It was, as one author referred to it, a “blip” in the historical record.  Population numbers (by age groupings) weren’t that high before, and won’t be that high again, unless we have a world event leading to another massive baby boom.

   Thus, we can’t even expect to see the same level of participation, as there just isn’t the numbers - in particular age groupings - to make it possible.

   And while it is true that the Boomers have, and will continue to have, an effect on our institutions and will be impacting wide-scale decisions for years to come, they aren’t the only ones we need to cater to in society.  Basing everything strictly on their numbers - past or present - won’t benefit us at all as they are the “blip” in statistics.

   The same is true of our economy.  Sorry, but $100+/barrel of oil is not normal, nor is it realistic or sustainable. It too is just a blip.  Governments, businesses, and families need to stop making their decisions based on the day oil goes back to this level.   Now, if they based their decisions on the real normal - which is closer to $20/barrel - then maybe we’d all have a better chance.

   By basing our decisions on historical “blips” we create unrealistic expectations for our lives, and stress when the expectations fall apart.

   Humans have short memories, and we can get acclimatized to any situation in very short time.  Thus, it is all to easy to forget that the really good situations aren’t any more normal, than the really bad situations.  

  Normal consists in a blend of what we call good experiences and not-so-good experiences.  Not too much of one, or the other.


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