One hundred years ago the world was still celebrating peace in Europe after the devastation of World War One; America was in its first flush of modern lifestyle and invented the speakeasy, filled with dance, sing and happiness, fuelled by the beginning of a huge booze trade. It was the ‘Roaring Twenties’ when anything was possible.
Here we are 100 years later, wondering what hit us. The Americans are prosecuting their President’s abuse of power, the British are turning their backs on the European Union, and the world’s youth led by Greta Thunberg are protesting that the world’s leaders just don’t care about the future. Hardly the carefree days of old.
But have we actually made progress in these last hundred years? Yes, we have advanced in technology and commerce, become the masters of the either with internet and mobile phone, built hotels and villas and malls aplenty all over the world, but at what expense?
When we reflect on just the last year and ask ourselves ‘what good did I do for the world’ or even for my own community? That may be a difficult thing to do as we are so often faced with enough challenges just to do our job and keep our families together, but we do have to try! We have to put aside time for others, the sick, the poor, the lonely. We need to help charities and join movements to save energy, conserve water, promote culture, reduce waste and generally help the world to recover from its relentless pounding of ‘development’.
The ‘Roaring Twenties’ of the 21st century maybe more focused on saving the world from too much peace rather than the horrors of war.
But let us use this new year to think new thoughts, do new things, become newly dedicated to good and make our ‘speakeasy’ the place of harmony and sustainability.
Happy New Year Everyone.
Alistair G. Speirs, OBE