Last night I watched a show I highly recommend: The Century of the Self.

My sons have often asked me how we went from the idealism of the 60’s to what followed so that we’re living on a planet suffering from racism, injustice, and man-made manipulation and climate change.

The show helps me understand.  It’s four hours. I planned to watch over four nights but I was hooked and couldn’t stop.  

One thing that surprised me is how young Bill and Hillary Clinton look, like children, and they were idealistic until the midterm elections shut them down.  Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher also look, and are, young.  Bill was 46 when he took office, Obama 47, and Kennedy 43.  Reagan was 69 and Trump 70.  

The Freud family and Ronald Reagan do not come off well.  The 1954 horrific manipulation of the U.S. in Guatemala is painfully sobering. The U.S. as controlled by corporations has a lot to answer for. How do we combat psychological warfare?

Reagan made it okay to not be compassionate.  We’re seeing that now with Trump.  

Anyway, it’s a four hour history of the 20th century with wonderful footage from the past, some of which I know. Now, in this century, we know we’re manipulated by social media, and yet, do we turn it off? Many of us connect through it. Can we override the dark side?

I believe, properly monitored, it allows us to connect with those we might not otherwise meet. I remember the first Gulf war. I live in a relatively homogenous political arena, but my oldest son was going on the internet and interacting with people with different beliefs. He heard other “sides” of the issue, and interacted with those who were there.

I think of the chemical elements and how they come together. What a gift it is that hydrogen and oxygen open to each other and bond to give us water, and with water, life. What about sodium and chloride coming together to make salt? Can’t we come together and open our bonds to create what separately we might not be able to imagine?

On another note, I woke from a dream of my mother.  She was here, or so it seemed, and I woke missing her with the same ache of when she passed fifteen years ago.  Is she still here?   Well, in me, of course, but I felt as though I could simply open a window and reach out and she’d be there/here to touch.  It was a sad way to wake, and perhaps it represents all the tears that accumulate with a long life as we surrender to receive what comes.

Rose surrounded by and supported by leaves
My friend Elaine Chan-Scherer took this photo yesterday from SF looking at Marin – clear sky and the hills so dry

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