There is no citation, before 1936, for the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” It was one of the Chamberlains — Austen — who apparently first used the quote, and all he said was that an unnamed member of the foreign service had told him about it. People who have looked for the origin of the sentiment say the Chinese have never heard the curse, or at least the ones who were queried hadn’t heard of it.
Whatever the origin, it certainly does seem to be a curse to live in interesting times, as those of us who have so far lived through the “interesting” year of 2020 can attest.
John Zimirak wrote: “What if in October 2019, I’d told you that a Chinese virus would cripple our economy, close our churches, and strip us of the right of free assembly — except for violent, destructive, anti-police riots? That it would give Democrat governors virtual dictatorial powers, which they’d ruthlessly exploit, weaponizing public panic? Making a mockery of public health by dumping virus patients in nursing homes, while locking down churches? And that the Democrats would nominate one of the weakest candidates in their field, but exploit the effects of the Chinese virus to pull ahead in the presidential race? You’d have waved me off as a crackpot. But that’s exactly what has happened.”
Not everyone will agree with his analysis and his conclusions, but everyone will agree with some of it because here we are. Living in an interesting time.
Even more than living in an “interesting” time, we are living in an historical time. This year has been pivotal, and whatever happens after the election, no matter who wins, will also be pivotal to the USA. Some of the items on the platforms for the next four years may end up as permanent fixtures, unable to be undone. Even if people ever realize the truth of how we have changed, perhaps not for the better, there might not be any going back (or forward) to a more centrist position.
Trump has been called the unobama, since he and his supporters are trying to roll back some of the policies they found unacceptable to the security of our nation. But what happens in the future when there is no more undoing of policies, policies that will punish either the silent conservative or the vocal liberal? It seems probable that one of those groups will be punished with policies they cannot live with because of how polarized we now are. What frightens me and so many other thinkers and overthinkers is that there seems to be no way to work our way back to a center where most people may be at least a bit satisfied with the future of our country. And satisfied with the present, of course, since it’s the present that will determine the future.
Interesting times, for sure.
This is also a time more than any other where the truth is hard to find. It used to be I could read a plethora of articles on all sides of an issue, and wherever they intersected, there the truth could be found. It’s not that easy any more. It’s still a matter of reading a plethora of articles, but now it’s also necessary to try to trace the premises of the articles back to the origin. And that takes work.
I used to think truth was all important. Actually, I still think that. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I thought everyone accepted the importance of truth. Of facts.
But then opinion became more powerful that fact. Not everyone can or will do the work to find the truth because it takes work to find the facts. But everyone can have an opinion regardless of the facts.
Now, reaction seems to be more powerful than opinion. Someone says or does something and long before the facts are known, even before the opinions start being bandied about, people react.
I’m not sure there is a resolution to this situation. After watching Judge Judy with the woman I take care of a few hours a week, and after seeing all the irrational people coming before the judge, I’m convinced there never will be an answer.
I hope I’m wrong. But either way . . . interesting times.
We’re getting closer to the October 20th publication date every day!
If you are planning to get a Kindle version of my new novel, Bob, The Right Hand of God, you can now pre-order on Amazon, and the minute the book is published, the book will appear in your Kindle. Click here to purchase: Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.
If you wish to buy a paperback copy, click here: Bob, The Right Hand of God, sign up for email notifications, and Amazon will let you know the minute it is for sale.
I truly hope this book will amuse you, entertain you, make you think and perhaps even dream a bit about what it would be like if God decided to recreate the world. Now those would be interesting times!