I enjoy hearing my father talk about growing up in the small, middle-Georgia town of Sandersville. As a young boy he worked at the local theatre making five dollars a week. His job was simple: to open up, sell the tickets and the popcorn, start the movie, and then clean up.
My father was a “depression child,” who, until after the war, didn’t realize his family had been poor. In fact, until the war’s end, he knew only poverty. And then, in those post-war years, he witnessed one of the greatest times of abundance and opportunity that this country has ever seen. I’m sure that it must have been as if a new nation had been born, born of that sleeping “spirit of enterprise” that so characterizes our American experience.
In times of great need, like the Great Depression, I believe that people’s mutual dependence must be more apparent; my father even reports that during those times, when no one had anything, people helped people a great deal more. There was fraternity among people, and they spent more time with each other, talking, laughing and crying together and together hoping for better days.
It’s true, I think, that today we live in the “me” generation and that today’s cultural icons speak of abundance, independence, affluence and influence. The skew today is toward the individual and performance, and the quiet spirits of beauty and peace are foreign to many.
Day 7 Guide
You are a beacon to many who want desperately to witness that spirit of a peaceful heart. Continue your course of seeking beauty and of finding joy in relationship, in friendship and in love.
© 2004, Levi Hill