Today had me thinking about watershed moments and big historical events. I was asking my mom what she remembers about some from her lifetime, and there are so MANY – the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK’s assassination, the moon landing, MLK’s assassination and the Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, Vietnam. I’m sure there are more after that, but, uh, I’m a little fuzzy on U.S. and world history in the 1970s and 1980s, sooo.
Anyway, it’s got me thinking about what the watersheds from my lifetime are – the most obvious, of course, is 9/11 (and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq). Others are the dot com bubble, the global financial crisis, and all the recent strides in marriage equality (I still feel like we are waiting for The Moment on that one. Come onnnnn).
But I wonder if there are other things that don’t feel that huge to me right now, but in 50 years will prove to be historically significant? And things that felt really big at the time, but will end up being fairly minor or mundane.
Like, I don’t know – Obama’s election in 2008. It felt like a sea change, at the time. Like a huge, big deal. Like history was happening and I was experiencing it, and WOW. And on some level, I think that’s certainly the case: we have a black president! That IS a big deal. But some of the rest of it, the hope and change and everything I felt so swept up by at the time? It feels kind of like a river that turned into a stream that turned into … I don’t know, an overused irrigation canal. This metaphor got away from me. Anyways, it felt like it was going to be a big historical Thing, and now it seems like it’s actually just politics as usual.
Wow, this went in an unexpected direction. But it is my bedtime, so I’m leaving it, even though I’m sure I’ll think of a bunch of obvious things tomorrow, and also that I’ll be embarrassed at my limited world view and lack of awareness of current events.