Society seems to have a very short-term memory. It continually baffles me how quickly we forget any lesson from the past. And it's a recurring theme with so many different topics.
America's place in the world isn't a given.
I think we take for granted the fact that America is a superpower. It wasn't that long ago that this was a serious debate. Why else would Russians be the focus of so many spy movies? The world order is far from set in stone and if America doesn't actively seek to maintain order in the world, someone else will, and it probably won't be to our benefit, or anyone's benefit.
The economy isn't invincible.
We seem to have the mindset that no matter what harm we do to the economy, it will be able to bounce back and all will be well again. This certainly seems to be President Obama's state of mind given the constant barrage of economic hurdles being sent out. From regulation to taxes to everything else. It almost seems like a blissful ignorance, but unfortunately it's so easy to forget that nothing is invincible.
Vaccines are a modern miracle.
It's easy to forget this one since we're decades removed now from serious outbreaks of diseases. We don't have to deal with widespread repercussions of polio for example. So why should we even worry about it? I know I'm new to this debate since I'm a new parent, but I still find it shocking that there are so many people who abhor vaccines and are actively trying to get others to avoid them as well. How quickly we forget that diseases are only wiped out as long as we keep them wiped out. Having personally known individuals who had polio, the idea that someone's selfish actions in avoiding vaccinations could affect my children who aren't fully immune to diseases is almost overwhelming. It's so easy to choose not to participate in vaccinations when you can still reap the benefits. I guess that's only until enough people fall for the foolishness...
A prosperous lifestyle isn't a given.
We've gone through some tough times in recent years, but I don't think it has really changed the expectation most of us have about certain levels of living. Having enjoyed decades of prosperity, we all seem to think that it is a given no matter what. I've seen many people with less than useful college degrees seem to expect to have the same kind of lifestyle that they enjoyed while living with their parents. The same could probably be said about grads with useful degrees too. Hard work seems to not enter the equation. That also seems to be the mindset as people have stopped working. Unemployment, disability, name-your-other-government-program, it seems like we've set up a system whereby people expect to not have to take on lower paying jobs since that wouldn't fit their lifestyle and they can live off the government. How far we've come from the days when hard work and entrepreneurship were expected in order to live prosperously.
We all knew and approved of what the NSA is doing.
Yeah, it's definitely easy to forget how vulnerable we were and still may be when it comes to terrorism. A few years without any major problems will do that. And then when we're reminded that we set up certain defenses to keep up safe, along with extensive checks and balances, we recoil in disbelief. Show me where the NSA has abused this power and we can talk about changes. Until then, I prefer not to need another massive terrorist attack to remind us why we set up our security infrastructure and how vulnerable we can be without it.
While I'm sure we could continue like this for a long time, these few things seem to illustrate some of the pertinent examples of our forgetfulness. Let's just hope our lack of remembering doesn't come back to bite us more quickly than we think it can. I doubt that will be the case though.
My personal musings on a variety of topics.