8/23/2005

The Good Old Days????

I don't know how parents lived with their children going off to college before the days of the Internet. Yesterday we communicated with Rhonda via both email and AIM. (Not sure when she's going to do her school work, but then classes don't start till tomorrow either!) Knowing what's going on is a huge help with this transition.

I'm about as conservative a person as you're ever likely to meet. The pastor of the church we attended in Florida said he was so conservative that he only ate the right wings of the chicken at KFC. (Speaking of which, do you know what Col. Sanders said when asked why the chicken crossed the road? "What, I missed one?") I'm in that mold. But the good old days weren't so great if you were sick, alone, far from family, or even needed glasses. We live in an amazing day. The power of technology is not just astounding--it's changing into something even more amazing right before our eyes.

The downside to all of this progress is that it leads us to abandon the parts of the past that were good. In her brilliant book Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Peggy Noonan talked about the decline in religious observance among the suceeding generations of immigrants. "Who needs God when you have America?" she asked. The temptation to rely on the material rather than the eternal is great, especially in a society like ours. We are surrounded by so many amazing things that are the products of our own brains and hands that we frequently ignore the even more amazing work that produced those brains and hands in the first place.

So let's keep the wonders of modern technology--and the means of communication with our college kids--but not lose the faith and strength of character that were the hallmarks of the good old days.

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