1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Dan Duff

Say, where does the time go, it seems only yesterday we were studying about the beginning of the new century. Remember how you had to learn about the battle of Hastings in 1066? Or all that other stuff about futile wars, surfs, fiefdoms, kingdoms, knights and plagues of all sorts? What a revolting idea it was for us to find out that those people did not have radios, movies or daily newspapers to keep them abreast of the things going on around the world. Then came the next century and the industrial revolution where machinery and mass production took the place of slow building and manufacturing. I remember my grandfather talking to my older brother about people working for a dollar a day and glad to get it. When my brother informed him that factory workers in Detroit were making five dollars an hour on the car assembly lines, my grandfather informed him, in no uncertain terms, there was not a man on the planet worth that kind of money. I wonder what he would think of those same assembly line guys making an average of 70 thousand a year as we head in to the next millennium.

I don't know what it is like to pass from one millennium to another but come the 31st of this year I shall. I can hardly wait to go through it. All the fuss was made last year with celebrations galore about going into the 21st century. Fear caused everyone to buy up all the flashlight batteries, gasoline and other stuff they would need until all the computers could straighten themselves out trying to get started in 2000. Most of the people in Madison Avenue tried to pass that off as the start of the new millennium. I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but there was never a "0" year. There was however a year "1" , so come January 1,2001 a new millennium will begin. The 21st Century will come to pass and all those people who celebrated last January will find themselves doing it for real this time.

One of the many miracles that has happened to us this century is the one I am working at now. Computers let us do all of our work and keep in touch with people in an instant. I can send and receive messages from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. We have 24 hour news stations, that can show us stories as they happen anywhere in the world.

What can we look forward to in the next millennium? Only a very vivid imagination could even fathom the advances that will be coming. Knowledge has become so rampant that we of this generation will find it very hard to keep up. Some including this writer finds it so now. The wonders that are preformed in the next five years will dwarf all those inventions and advances of the last fifty. The new millennium will be more portable and faster than we can imagine. Portable PCs and phones will be the rule and everyone will carry them. Children in class will have the entire library at their fingertips. They will be able to carry one machine that will have all their texts and workbooks loaded and all their homework and tests will be given on the one machine. This unit will also be a telecommunication unit so that their parents and friends are in instant contact.

What about the people. It would seem, if people swell with knowledge, things will get better and better. We have been told by many scholars that man drifted out of monkey and over the years has grown into this magnificent animal he is today. As man has advanced in knowledge, he has thrown down his axes of war and have moved toward this docile worker of today.

If this is true, why do we hear politicians want to put 100,000 more policemen on the streets? Why have we come to a point in time when parents are not safe around their own children and why are children afraid of their own parents.

The simple answer is that man left to his own devices becomes destructive, not only to himself, but to all those around him. When you throw God out of school and the public meeting place, you invite this destruction upon yourself. I want to stay optimistic and hope that the new millennium will bring us a new beginning. A new resolve to do better for our families, to our communities and to ourselves. We have all the laws we need. We have all the resources we need. We have all the brain power we need. The only thing we lack is the resolve to return to basic principles.

To basic promises. Lets put the Ten Commandments back in the classroom along with the "golden rule" and resolve for the next year to live by them. Now that is what I call a new millennium, and one worth seeking.