Then and Now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I was with my students at church waiting my turn for confession. I always keep a copy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's book Simple Truths in my handbag and pull it out from time to time to read a few snippets when I have a few minutes. It's not designed necessarily to be read in order, so usually I just flip open to a page. That morning, I flipped to a page I don't remember ever having seen before and was stunned speechless for a few moments when I read this:

From my research, he wrote this in 1957 as part of a longer article. That was almost 60 years ago, and look where we are right now in this country. We are living this problem, with our two leading candidates for President of the United States equally as terrible. (And a lot of our representatives are not much better.)

When I was driving back from Morgantown a few days ago (where apparently I do my best thinking) with my iPhone on shuffle, a song came up that I hadn't listened to in a while. That song was Tupac's "Changes." (Incidentally, the random assortment of songs I have on my iPhone are so diverse that, well, let's just say I would be so embarrassed if anyone found it and when through it, but that's a different story for a different day!) I actually am a huge fan of this song generally and of course know what it's about, but that day I really heard the lyrics for the first time in a long time. Imagine my amazement when I heard this:

It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.
And still I see no changes. Can't a brother get a little peace?
There's war on the streets and the war in the Middle East ... 

When was this released? 1998. So almost 20 years ago. And where are we now? Yep. Same spot. Listen, I'm not trying to say that Tupac had it all right, he definitely made some poor choices, but just examining this one well-written song in light of our current circumstances is really eye opening.

It's really so sad that these problems that were being recognized about society in 1957 and 1998 still exist without having gotten any better really. Their commentary on their societies in their times could easily be commentary on today's society.

Photos from here and here.
Also, I wonder what these two guys -- Fulton Sheen and Tupac -- would have to say to each other. Now that would make for one interesting conversation, wouldn't it?! And who knows ... maybe they're up in heaven together talking right now. Who's to say really. :)

And I bet there are two names you never thought you'd see related in one blog post.

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