Press-Republican

Read

December 30, 2012

Rediscovering a nation for all

There is not another word that connotes more meanings than hallelujah. Everyone has a different take on it, and they vary with each change of mood and every sensibility.

As I write this, I don’t know how 2012 will end. It may end better than it started, but probably not. I wish I could say hallelujah, it is over, and we can look forward to a better future, but I am not confident about that either.

In my lifetime, I experienced seven different decades. Just a few years before I was born, the USSR launched Sputnik. Its interminable beep beep beep taunted a nation that reaffirmed it had better days ahead. The United States embarked on an age of hope in the 1960s. Hallelujah, all things were possible, and much was attained.

There were many challenges to overcome in that decade, from the technical to the civil and social. The miracle decade was followed by the 1970s when, hallelujah, we as a nation attained and maintained the apex of our economic empire. Our capacity to build, to spend, to educate and to develop caused the former USSR to crumple under our unrelenting weight. By the 1980s, hallelujah, the Cold War was over, and we expected peace dividends to thrust us even higher.

For an instant, we thought we could end disease, strife and hunger in our nation and beyond. But, by the 1980s and 1990s, a certain cynicism began to take hold. We consolidated our gains not by creating a new, transparent, open and productive society that would be the beacon on the hill. Rather, we realized new heights of greed and division. We each became a member of a special interest, with each interest determined to prevail over all others.

As we saw that affluence and superiority fail to bring out the best in us all, a heightened sense of faith emerged, hallelujah. America seemed to have a spiritual awakening. Yet, rather than unite us, it seemed to divide us further.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Read
  • colin_read.jpg Good organizations lack drama

    Groups that accomplish their objectives do so with a minimum of distraction and politics, focusing instead on creativity and a dynamic vision, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Parking fines a short-sighted policy

    Tourists should be encouraged to do business downtown without fear of getting tickets, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Technical training a key part of education

    Recently honored, Champlain Valley Educational Services offers meaningful careers for those not heading for college, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Constitution withstands test of time

    The nation's founding document is a delicate balance that we should continue to nurture, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg This region helped shape a new nation

    As we celebrate our nation's history, we must also appreciate the key role the North Country played in the founding of two countries, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Diversity of views a key to progress

    With today's mobile society and 24-hour media, like-minded people tend to congregate together stifling diversity of opinion, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Local heros needed to inspire us all

    It takes individual talent and initiative to truly move a community forward to fulfill its economic destiny, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Fee on carbon needed

    Creating incentives to curb emissions is critical to containing climate change, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Governor inspires renewed shared-services effort

    Tax-cap plan has provided incentives for municipalities to get together to try and increase savings and efficiency, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Pipeline issue has no simple answer

    If Alberta oil is not transported through Keystone, it will cause more pollution to send it to China, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo