Over the past 61 years I have seen some incredible events in history. Events that have had substantial impacts on the way we live our lives today. We’ve had groundbreaking technological advancements, scientific discoveries and social movements which have opened our eyes, warmed our hearts and begun new eras of progress.
When I was young, we didn’t have a television for a long time. Then when we got one, there were about three channels, all signed off at midnight, and could only be tuned in clearly if you held the “rabbit ear” antennas just right, and dad whacked the back of the TV.
We would all gather around to hear the nightly news and that was about it. My brother and I would get to watch one show a week. His was Emergency and mine was The Waltons. Ah, the good old days. Now it is 24/7, with hundreds of options for how and what you watch.
We did not have computers when I grew up. At least not the kind that were accessible to the public. They usually required the entire basement of a university library to write a basic code. Apple, it was not. Having a calculator in ninth grade was about as geeky as we ever got, and that was if you could afford it.
Personal computers, iPhones and all the technologies that have come along with them were inconceivable to me, and now my grandchildren haven’t known a world without them. I am still undecided about how good or bad this has all been, but it sure changed the world.
The moon landing was a remarkable event in my life. On July 20, 1969, the world gathered to watch as Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. This historic event was sparked by the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union which ultimately ended with Armstrong’s incredible achievement. Since then, the exploration of space continues to reach new heights giving us insights into new worlds and universes that are almost incomprehensible. I love the advances and look forward to seeing what we can achieve in my lifetime.
The civil rights movement and the women’s rights movements are two other significant chapters in history within my lifetime. As I lived in the United States, the women’s and civil rights movements made significant strides in the fight for equality and justice among people of all races.
Now, in Canada, I watch as Truth and Reconciliation continues to move us forward from a difficult history, to a more enlightened path forward. These historic events have profoundly changed the course of history and continue to serve as a reminder of what can be accomplished when united against hatred and bigotry.
Finally, the advancement of medical science has had a profound effect on our lives. Developments in the medical field have enabled us to treat a wide variety of ailments, extend lives and offer advances in so many fields. It is my hope the cure for diseases such as cancer will be among the achievements in my lifetime.
These are only a very few of the events as I look back on the last 61 years, and I can’t help but be proud of the seismic advancements that have been achieved. We have so many to go, I just hope my brain allows me to keep up with the future, whatever it holds for us all.