Looking Past the Rearview and into the Future

How would your life be different in a different time period?

Computers, video games, iPhones. Fuel injected, cereal box import rice rockets dominate the streets. Hybrid cars and green technology. Pop, rap and screamo. For better or for worse, times have changed. While modern applications serve their purpose, I like to imagine myself in a seemingly simpler time, with simpler things. Driving in my dad’s beaten down Toyota Echo, I can’t help but wonder: If I graduated in the class of 1972 instead of 2012, how would life be different? As I imagine myself gazing out the window, cruising in a 1970 Chevy Camaro with Led Zeppelin II blazing from the stereo, life seems much different. Children are playing outside, riding bicycles, or playing board games. Gone are the mind-numbing television shows and video games of today. While I enjoy playing Xbox, watching Sportscenter and chatting on Facebook, the ‘70s embraced face-to-face interaction, social events and a greater sense of community. Furthermore, all the bands from my Google Music playlist would be around. I regret missing the opportunity to go to a Led Zep concert, or listen to Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival live. My fascination with classic cars and classic music follow accordingly with my love of getting things done; I would rather do something myself, put in the hours of work, rather than take a handout—just like the artists of the past. The innovators of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s inspire me to put forth the legwork that has brought me academic and athletic success. Hendrix and Clapton’s electric guitars, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple’s hard rock, and the progressive rock featuring keyboards and synthesizers of King Crimson, Yes, and Rush, are all products of innovation – leading rather than following. Muscle cars and Rock and Roll may have epitomized an era, but like The Dark Side of the Moon teaches us, “the sun is the same, in a relative way.” While I would love to experience the past, I never forget the conveniences of the modern era. Instant communication via text message, email, and social network is accessible in the palm of my hand with my Droid 2. A virtually limitless network of information is constantly at my fingertips, helping me research for my school paper, look up something for an argument with my friends, or simply browse and learn from millions of informative websites. International affairs are no longer fantasies from faraway lands; technology permits the global community to stay constantly in tune. Televisions broadcast in HD, and I never have to deal with a cheap eight-track tape, digital music on my computer and iPod. Even Muscle Cars are making a revival—I can buy a 2012 Mustang with better gas mileage, stronger engine, fewer emissions, improved safety and enhanced comfort. The potential for growth, as a person, community, nation, species, comes hand in hand with innovation and progress. Humans have limitless potential to grow, create, and facilitate social development. While I would enjoy graduating in the ‘70s, I can only imagine how it will be in the 2070s. Although Pink Floyd and Cream may be antiquated things of the past by then, I intend to contribute greatly—keeping alive my teenage dreams and transferring them to a new generation, so they may experience not only what I had, but what my parents and grandparents had as well. By learning from the past, I am able to teach, grow individually and give back to others. Like the great innovators of decades past, I intend to create, lead, and accomplish. Change happens regardless of desire, action, or preference. Just as time continues to tick, spring turns into summer, and people grow older, society is constantly in motion. Looking in the rearview mirror is a poor substitute for reliving a memory, and, most importantly, it distracts from the road ahead. Rather than bask in the memories of the past, I intend on blazing new paths forward, using the tools of today to make a better tomorrow.

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