Change and fear come with the territory


As we grow up and become increasingly immersed into our adults selves, it’s easy to make the then and now comparisons because so much changes.

A recent Facebook post served to underscore that. It compared varying high school scenarios, describing how these certain scenarios would be met in 1970 versus 2015.

One of those had to do with gun racks.

Remember those? Everyone who had a truck had a gun rack hanging in the back window, and if memory serves it wasn’t a thing at all to actually see a gun or two in a gun rack.

You don’t see those anymore.

As it happens, I was recently discussing this with a colleague because of a police report where the presence of a gun rack was noted. I don’t know if that would have been the case when I was a kid.

As a matter of fact, the last gun rack I saw was probably the last time I watched “Wayne’s World” when Wayne Campbell’s ex-girlfriend, Stacy, brings him one as a gift to try to win him back.

Anyway, in the post the 1970 scenario had a high school boy hunting prior to going to school for the day. And when he gets to school, his vice principal, seeing the hunting gun in the gun rack, takes his own hunting gun from his car and they talk shop.

The 2015 scenario had the school on lockdown and the kid arrested.

That’s something that made me stop and say, “Hmmm.” While I know it’s true, I just hadn’t stopped to think about it being true.

And, I’ve got something to say about guns since we are very near the subject here.

I don’t own a gun or intend on owning a gun (or a gun rack, for that matter). But guns are at the forefront of a lot of conversations.

I’m not particularly conservative or liberal, but I get pretty p’oed when I read yet another article about gun control.

What I think about that is that guns aren’t the problem, ever. People are the problem. And people are the problem on loads of other things, too.

There seems to be an ever-present fear that perpetuates the need to try to control everything.

Yes, things change. In fact, change is one sure thing to count on in life. But I don’t know that change is so much the issue as fear. It seems like so many people are afraid, but not of anything in particular.

And on that score, my mind always comes to technology. Sure, its advancements have made some marvelous things possible, but it’s also changed our access and connectivity to each other and the world.

That ability to see what so many people have to say about something, and the ability to say anything, that nothing is sheltered, it feeds the fear, I think.

Perhaps technology is the driving force to the fears that society is going to Hell in a handbasket. I mean, not a thing can happen without it being posted on the Internet in some form within minutes, and then people are off and running, making their comments and launching their uniformed, or partially informed, tirades.

And I suppose every generation experiences fear with raising a new generation, of wanting something better for them, and of coping with changes along the way. Maybe our eyes only become open to all the potential dangers as we age.

Change’s constancy is a given. I didn’t think about that when I was a kid. And being a kid, that was the only carefree time of my life, as it should be.

As I get older, I don’t want to be swallowed by all the bad that might be lurking. I want to bask in all the good that is.

I think maybe the only way to do that is to close the computer and turn off the phone. Being disconnected for a time might be just the ticket to reconnecting to some very important things.

My biggest fear as a child was missing out on whatever adventures awaited.

Why is that not a bigger fear now? It certainly should be. That’s one fear I think I need to hold on to.

Maybe more has changed than I realize, and maybe I’m naive about it. I really don’t know.

But I do know that the fear and the seemingly fear-fed changes make me angry and make me sad, too, like we’re missing out on some really great things because of that fear. Isn’t that a worse tragedy than trying to protect ourselves from what might be?

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.