A Frame of Mind – Framing Time


A collection of artless, ornate white frames in a hallway or possibly just in a mind.

We are teetering on the edge of the end of a decade.  Not just any decade, but the first decade of a new century, and possibly more significant a new millennium.  I don’t know about you, but I am too old for this to be my century and certainly not my millennium.  At the end of my time on earth, I will have lived the majority of my life in the 20th century – unless I live to be more than 116.  The end of things always cause us to pause and reflect a bit on what has passed and December is the traditional month of memories, every publication will do story after story about 2010, the best sports story, the best pictures, the biggest events and on and on until we retch.  The end of decade generates even more of that kind of thinking and reporting.

For me however, the challenge is to put some of these last ten years in perspective – but as I know absolutely nothing about the century – how it will develop and what will be its defining characteristics I cannot easily add perspective to the stories of the year.  However, I do, know something about the last century.  And that is how I have been framing this decade by comparing it to the first decade of the 20th century.

Try the exercise it can be challenging – what do you know about members of your family between 1900 and 1910?  What did they do, where did they live and what did they pass on to subsequent generations?  Where was the country?  Compare, just for a little amusement the place on the world stage of the United States and Great Britain – which was the world power on ascension and which on the decline?  How might that analogy be used today thinking about the United States and China?  The game is unlimited in its opportunity for using historical analogy to put some perspective on contemporary events.  Try technology – what were the nominate technologies of that decade 1900-1910?  What did people think would happen, what actually did happen?  You know in that decade the bicycle, the automobile and horses were still competing; steam and internal combustion engines; radio and telegraph – send a telegram lately? And no one final one, put yourself with your current age and place in life into the decade – what does the next decade or the one afterward look like then?


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December 2010
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