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KERA's This I Believe: The Good Old Days

By Windros Dulanya

Dallas, TX –

I believe in the good old days. When I was young, I believed in a world where adults would solve any problem and the young would be leaders of tomorrow. I believed in a world that was sheltered and no bad things happened. It was a world where man and all nature lived in harmony, a world full of promise. Now I am a grown up. I believe in gloom and doom. I believe in a world that is going downhill faster than anyone can stop it. I believe that the only reason one can still be optimistic about anything at all is because hope is our only hope.

Once upon a time, our world had enough water. The air was cleaner. There was adequate land and forest cover. The seasons could be predicted fairly accurately. There was no acid rain. Today the ecosystem is out of balance and weather patterns are chaotic. The oceans are raging. There are devastating floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, and all kinds of weather phenomena. Forests are disappearing and more animal species are finding themselves on the endangered list. Land is becoming more scarce and wars are being fought over land ownership.

I looked up to the promise of medical research. Diseases would be eradicated one by one. New drugs would be developed to cure existing illnesses. But as time has passed, diseases we thought were defeated have resurfaced with vengeance and drugs that held so much promise have been found to have heinous side effects. New strains of pathogens, more virulent in nature, are cropping up and diseases that were once curable are becoming drug-resistant.

I believed in a world that provided equal opportunity, where working hard was always rewarded. Alas, the divide between rich and poor continues to grow and it becomes harder and harder to close the gap. Social and economic divisions are becoming more pronounced and the poor are driven deeper into poverty.

As a young idealist, I believed in the nobleness of human beings. Now I know just how misguided I was. People are selfish and intolerant. We would rather fight than resolve issues peacefully. Differences in ethnicity, religion, race are good enough to send us fighting.

I believed in the miracle of the family. I believed that strong families would build strong communities and the world would be one happy family. I have sadly watched the social fabric that holds us together unravel. The list of social ills that befall us today is just too depressing. The reality of divorce, lawlessness, genocide, child abuse, child pornography, drug abuse is all too pervasive.

Like all great civilizations, I believe ours has peaked and that it will inevitably come crushing down. I believe the problems facing us today are so overwhelming the greatest minds of our time will not be able to solve them.

Windros Dulanya, Dallas, TX

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