[ PRINT ]

What is Progress, is it a just a Mirage?


There is nothing new under the sun……

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Some people’s lives are ruled by sex, drugs, alcohol, false religion some are ruled by politics, some by gambling and other “pleasure principles” of the world, I have found out — sometimes the hard way and sometimes vicariously that you can not find “true happiness” in those things, what you find is a “true mirage”. That is why the pleasure found in one glass of alcohol or (likker as my husband refers to it) today will progress into 10 glasses tomorrow —- chasing happiness. A little “shotgun” hit from a friend was sufficient enough at one time for the drug addled junkie of today —- now not able to do much more than search for the next “high” —- they too are chasing happiness. A mirage, not real…

The human brain is geared towards “chasing happiness”. We want to make ourselves “happy” and in doing so we reach for things that we perceive to make us “happy”. The “love possessed” will seek man after man or woman after woman searching for their “Mr. or Mrs. Goodbar” —– hoping that they will find “happiness” through the application of another’s will — they will degrade themselves in public and private searching for that “pleasure”. It is even encouraged as many of the so-called “stars” have done nothing much besides filming themselves having sex. And most of you know that every gambler “knows” the next game played will yield the “big one”. —All worries aside they will be RICH and shower the friends and family with RICHES — also a mirage.

I have found this same fervor, this same seeking and searching associated with the idea of being a “Progressive”. In its strictest sense, the word progressive means “happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.” The key here is “step by step” development….

Does the world need progress? Of course it does…. Who would want to live in a world where women are treated as chattel, without claim to anything, who would want to live in a world where Blacks are slaves and where people are exploited merely for the degree of melanin contained in their skin —- no one. On a personal note, when I graduated from college I took the Greyhound $200.00 special from my college in the Midwest to New York City. Alone. I arrived at a relative’s house on a Saturday and stayed for the next year. I found a job as a secretary (even though I had a double major degree and could speak a couple of languages) —- I worked to be the BEST secretary I could be. My boss was a woman I met on my way to another interview, we shared coffee at the same table because the cafe was full. We spoke casually about a little town in Germany named Augsburg, told dumb jokes in the southern German dialect, she played the lute and I spoke about my mediocre talents as a violinist. We became fast friends. She asked me where I worked, I told her I was interviewing at 9:30 for a job. She looked amazed —- I will never forget this — she said —- “It is only 8:00” —- I ended up as her secretary for 6 months then on to assistant product manager for the next 2. That was progress.

One of the fellows that I worked with at the time was/is gay. The company we worked for is a very famous cosmetics concern. We hung out ALL of the time, being the same age — he is just maybe 5 years older. “Tom” called me on my first Christmas morning in New York, very upset, asking me to drive out to his father’s house in New Jersey to pick him up. I borrowed my Aunt’s car and promptly went to pick him up — you drive 60 miles or so in the snow, on Christmas morning to pick up a friend when you are 22. It seems the family opened their presents at midnight and his father and two brothers each wrapped up gold hangers and put them under the tree —- as his gift. The words were “come out of the closet” and other “funny” sayings…. More than 25 people witnessed this “funny” humiliation. He spent the day with my family eating caribbean food, watching the same old Jimmy Stewart movies and my aunt even found at least 3 presents for him. (We buy and store presents through the year)…. I hope we have all progressed beyond that.

So “progress” in its strictest sense, is a necessity for life and we usually want the best. But what happens when progress becomes a method for bending nation’s people to your will, to do what might not be in their best interest? What happens when progress means that a minority of people work within a framework promising “pleasure”, “riches” , “providing equality” and overall “happiness” while delivering unemployment, food stamps, welfare, a polluted school curriculum, a healthcare plan that they don’t even want, socialism and diminished hope? You get the present situation and that is NOT “progress” in its strictest sense.

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