Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 28 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/24/19

Best and Worst

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 514931
Message James Haught

Tales serial.
Tales serial.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Details   DMCA

(syndicated nationally by PeaceVoice) Charleston Gazette-Mail

The immortal novel, A Tale of Two Cities, begins:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."

Actually, I think this yin-and-yang contradiction exists right now, today and probably existed at every moment since the beginning of recorded history.

These are America's worst times under a ludicrous president who has uttered 7,600 countable lies and shut down part of the federal government in a temper tantrum. But life also is good, with full employment, booming prosperity and superb personal freedoms.

Writers like Chris Hedges are correct that right-wing greed is pulling America apart in ever-worse inequality, and that industrial pollution causes global warming that threatens the planet. But writers like Steven Pinker are correct in claiming that our "better angels" cause life to improve constantly, with fewer wars, fewer murders, fewer rapes, fewer cruelties, fewer ethnic persecutions and relentless retreat of other evils.

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times and it always was.

The hero of Scaramouche was "born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad." But that's just half the story. Laughter can be dampened by grief and suffering. A better assessment of our ongoing carnival is the cliche': Life is a comedy to the person who thinks, and a tragedy to the person who feels.

Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote that, despite daily horrors in the news, "2018 was the best year in human history." He cited:

Each day, about 295,000 people around the world gained access to electricity for the first time.

Each day, about 305,000 got safe drinking water for the first time.

Each day, 620,000 more people acquired access to the Internet.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

James Haught Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail, where he has won two dozen national newswriting awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feeding 7.7 Billion

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

The Biggest News of the 21st Century

Best and Worst

The Enlightenment Still Wins

Zealots in High Office

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

No comments