The Second Depression and Marks of Discipleship

History repeats itself. It only does if no one learns from the past. Ignoring it does not help anyone, but living as if time were frozen helps no one, either. About every 70 years or so, cycles repeat. In thinking of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, we are going through a similar crisis. As of 2008, the American economy had its initial collapse. Although at the time it didn’t fully hit everyone, it has had enough repercussions to affect the entire country, and now to affect the world markets as the American economy in total shrank this past quarter. And this was Christmastime, the typical savior of the GDP on a yearly basis.

2012 and 1934 are not that far apart. Instead of going into a war to relieve the burdens of economic disparity, we are removing from two wars. There is almost no evidence that says that America will be out of foreign entanglements any time soon, though. Since the American Civil War, there has been a war somewhere on the earth at any given time. The wars continue to increase. The economy limps as if a crawling wounded beast whose body is trying to repair itself even as the crawling further scars and hurts. Not pretty imagery, it’s not a pretty time.

However the parallels intersect between the First Depression and the Second Depression, this seems like a time for re-fashioning phrases. When the first World War happened, everyone called it the Great War. There was no thought that anyone could or would ever allow anything that horrible to happen again. Well, given the next generation and history recycled itself even as there was a crippled economy and no relief in sight besides charismatic politicians who offered a restorative structure to a former glorious empire. As it is, radio stations now play ’90’s music, heralding back to when things were a little less care-worn and back when life was much simpler. Call it the re-invention of a glorious empire when America was on top, when prices were lower, and when there was not the loss of innocence that 9/11 engendered in similar fashion to shooting Kennedy.

My grandparents might have known what to do with this sort of situation, but they’re all dead. Part of the 70-year cycle, we repeat what we do not remember. We do not remember it because the memory keepers are either not alive, or modern society dismisses their records in the fragile state of pompous mind that comes when the people forget their heritage. There is no reason to reinvent wheels. A professor of mine talked once about libraries in advertising agencies where bringing back a campaign that was in 1920 seems so novel in 2012. He’s right. We don’t remember the past, and we repeat it. However, this time around, there isn’t World War II to save us.

The Middle East has been a hotbed for years and will likely continue ad infinitum. Everyone wants the same bits of land and it seems like peace there is an impossible dream. Why are there so many angry people? What did they do to each other to start it in the first place, and would or will it ever stop? Instead of killing each other, feed and clothe each other. Learn more, speak less, and write for the sake of humanity. A lot of hot air rarely assists in cultivating an improved attitude.

I seek something better than Great Depression 2.0. Instead of calling it the Great Depression, it’s time to call it the First Depression. There was nothing happy about it. People starved and died, but according to

Hearts Turned to the Fathers: History of the Genealogical Society of Utah Kindle edition

Hearts Turned to the Fathers: History of the Genealogical Society of Utah, that was the time when there was more temple and family history work done than at any time prior (1930’s). It’s scary to think that instead of the Roaring 20’s with the bootlegging and similar, the 1930’s were a time when there was nothing else to do but repent and become a different world. Economies kept people alive with indexing efforts of the WPA. Infrastructure improvements and creating books and lists collating items that otherwise would be lost to history. Instead of simply “being busy” it became being busy with the best things in some areas for a short decade. Today, if ignored, circumstances could continue to change so that people are not quite so “busy” and the things that need to happen will and can happen. Seems to be universal maladies counter-acted by rises in the things that need attention.


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