Sunday, August 22, 2010

List: Worse times than the present

As you may recall, I've become enamored with Curious Lists: A Creative Journal for List-Lovers, a delightful compendium of suggestions for lists. I love lists in general and find them to be not only a great way to organize my life but a wonderful creative trigger. Today I opened to worse times than the present which seems fitting, considering all of the furor you can read in the news on any given day. So, let us consider:
  • The US during the McCarthy hearings. Shh, be careful of what you say, who you spend time with. You don't know who might be paying attention.
  • And heck, let's not forget the Cultural Revolution, Nazi era Germany, the Rwandan genocide, the genocide of Native Americans, slavery, apartheid and on and on.
  • London, during the Plague. Heck, any European city during the Plague.
  • The Cretaceous Period. Come on, who really wants to be chased by dinosaurs?
  • The various dystopias predicted by Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, Anthony Burgess, Octavia Butler, Terry Gilliam, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and others. These are only the ones I can think of off the top of my head and they all terrify me.
  • Your worst birthday ever. 
  • Your worst break-up. 
  • When the dog died.
Alright, so this is a pretty dour list. Does it serve a purpose? I think so. In writing it, I was forced back into a healthier perspective. Things could be worse both politically and personally. I am very lucky that I'm not poor, living as an oppressed person or a voiceless one. Which leads to the most important thing I remembered while writing this list - I do have a voice. And I have a right to speak. Which alone makes this a pretty good time and place in which to live. 

It's just up to me to exercise that right.

(c)2010 Laura S. Packer
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