A column for The Register-Herald by former reporter and freelancer John Blankenship
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, stated that we can never step into the same river twice. If we consider time as a river, and the changing generations, those who enter and define that river, it is obvious that the values, issues and “defining moments” change as the years go by.
The weight and wisdom of that statement perhaps cannot seem more relevant than when we consider our plight today. And doubtless, the age in which one grows up determines a number of significant personal outlooks and values, ranging from cynicism about national politics to a breaking away from strong traditional family and cultural values.
Before becoming swayed by the opinions of others, however, it may be in our best interest to examine ourselves and our peers.
To what degree do we feel a sense of solidarity with the people of our own age?
Some would perhaps argue how we Americans have made a mess of things. I strongly disagree.
I used to think that our institutions — those of education, politics and religion — were all going to hell in a hand basket.
But as I now reflect on the past half century that I have spent writing for newspapers, teaching language arts on the secondary and college levels, and helping raise and educate some remarkably gifted nieces and nephews, I have come to believe that the opposite is true…