Earlier this evening, I ran across materials relating to retirement when I was cleaning my room. I will be 65 in 2050. At first, I thought 2050 was not that far away, but then I considered the events of the 20th century. If it was April 20, 1907, the Great War[1] would still be seven years in the future. Even scarier is the fact that the period from 1907 to 1950 also encompasses the Great Depression and the Second World War (with all of its associated horrors).

On one hand, I would like to think that the first half of the 21st century would help redeem the inhuman excesses of the first fifty years of the 20th, I am worried that the worst is yet to come. When I think about Iraq and the honeybees and Virginia Tech and all of the other worrisome things that have happened in the past seven years, I am not only unsure that we are headed somewhere better, but partially convinced that this century will be worse.

While my inherent assumptions that horrible things are going to happen limits my shock when I read about Bad Things (although I still feel like crying sometimes, to tell the truth), it increases my guilt (as if writing a letter to President Bush, not acquiring several cell phones, and traveling to Blacksburg and punching Cho Seung-hui in the face would have made everything hunky-dory since 2002). I have no idea what to do about this, except perhaps becoming more emotionless and cold than I already am. Of course, this leads to the idea that I myself might end up being the cause of some of the problems in this century, which in turn causes me to worry. It is possible that there is no escape, but I am somewhat resigned to it.
[1] I prefer "the Great War" to "World War I," although I am not entirely sure why. Historical accuracy (everybody assumed that there was not going to be a second global war) might have something to do with it, as well as stubbornness.