Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a changin’.”
That was in the early Sixties. Those of us old enough to remember that era recall tumultuous change, clash of cultures and a rift between the generations.
Recent events in America are rivaling the changes witnessed in the 1960s.
On Friday June 26th, the Supreme Court made Marriage Equality legal in all 50 states.
The next morning, female civil rights activist Bree Newsome evaded security guards, climbed the 30-foot steel flag pole at the South Carolina Statehouse and removed the Confederate flag, which has become a more profound symbol of controversy in the aftermath of the Charleston church murders.
I woke up this morning and looked at the image of the LGBT rainbow flag being waved on the steps of the Supreme Court along with the photo of Bree Newsome removing the Confederate flag in South Carolina and a memorable phrase occurred to me…
“May you live in interesting times.”
Curious of the phrase’s author, I googled it. According to Wikipedia, it has been regarded by many as an ancient Chinese curse, although no actual historical Chinese origin has ever been found.
In 1966, Senator Robert F. Kennedy used the line in address to the people of Cape Town, South Africa on the “Day of Affirmation.” It has since been used in novels, films and television series.
I am surprised that some regard these six words as a curse. It seems more like a blessing to live in interesting times than in mundane or stagnant times.
If indeed the phrase dates back to ancient China, perhaps it is both a blessing and a curse.
In the Chinese language, many linguists point out that the word “crisis” is created by the use of two characters – one representing danger, the other representing opportunity.
Take your pick.
And enjoy the ride.
We truly live in interesting times.