Dear Grandchildren, The last two decades have seen important milestones being achieved, not only for America, but which also have global impact and implications. These milestones are in the technological, political, and financial arenas. They are also profound in the sense that life as was known before these changes would never be the same again. Below are some of the things I believe are the most significant, simply because they are a sign of the times and which have direct impact on our lives in America.
Technologically, there has been a digital revolution, with the advent of the Internet on the world scene. The home computer is now a ubiquitous item, and easily replaces the television and radio as furniture, feature display, and entertainment console. It also provides business solutions, home office setups, a vast knowledge and information database, and connectivity with the rest of the world. There is virtually no chance for anyone to be a hermit anymore. Even we old folks have mastered the basic skills of emailing, skype-ing, googling, and Facebooking.
What more can we ask for? These will keep us entertained for many more years to come. There will not be time and lack of interaction for us to grow senile. The array of gadgets is simply gorgeous! Mobile phones, netbooks, iPads, and LED TV screens are now the must-have items. They increase our productivity, schedule our lives, and keep us updated on the go. Social media has given us social convergence and brought us closer as a result; ironically, sometimes, they also cause us to be indifferent and insensitive to those physically closest to us.
Politically, the United States has broken through the invisible ceiling and has installed for the first time in its history, an African American president. This is simply unthinkable, and had it not been for this moment in time, would not have happened at all. That said, it may herald the possibility for other minority races in the United States to reach the top spot. Barack Obama, at one stroke, has finally achieved that which had eluded activists all along. He has achieved the realization of emancipation for all African Americans.
In his becoming President, he has been able to appease both the Democrats and the Republicans and thus far, he has been even-handed and circumspect. Financially, there has been a tremendous upheaval in both the American and global economies. There was the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 which channeled much of the wealth then to the United States and Europe. This was however, reversed in 2008 when Wall Street literally collapsed, with brokerages, banks, and state institutions falling like dominoes.
This has caused untold misery to millions of homeowners in America who had their houses foreclosed. This situation should be seen as completely unique to our time, for the financial equations may no longer work so effectively as before. Coupled with fraud, lack of transparency, and the sheer number of complex financial instruments that flooded the market, the whole financial sector is way overdue for a bypass and cleanup. This is the darkest period since the Great Depression in the 1930s. How will these events influence the future?
I believe that these milestones represent yet another great development in the history of America and humanity in general. Technology will only continue to be improved with ever-increasing speeds and frightful ingenuity. The political climate will continue to evolve and result in hopefully a fairer system of governance that will represent the peoples of America. And financially, let us hope that the scares we went through are enough to jolt the wheelers and dealers to the fact that long-term stability is much more desirable than short-term gains and profiteering.