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A cheerful thought about Western society. For a change.

One of the most helpful things in learning to deal with depression is the knowledge that it's cyclical. You see things through mud-colored glasses, and it seems to you that they will never get better.

But knowing that your perception is distorted is a major weapon with which to fight back. So is knowing that no matter how things seem, they will get better. They always have, and they will again. And they will next time depression strikes, too.

There is considerable thought (though not, it should be noted, by The Experts; never by them!) that climate change, too, is cyclical. We have only been keeping records of temperatures for a little over a hundred years, so rhetoric about "the hottest year in recorded history" needs to be taken with a carload or two of salt. There is in fact substantial evidence in nature and even in literature that we've gone through periods of global warming at least as bad and even worse than the current one. Climate change, like depression, seems to be cyclical.

Like a lot of people, I tend to see the state of mores (sexual and otherwise), as well as the abattoir of American abortion and the redefinition of marriage (to say nothing of the coarsening of etiquette, language,and society generally, and even little things like the inability of most Americans to recognize that the current century and millennium began in 2001 rather than 2000 because we start counting with "1" rather than with "0") as heralding the decline of Western culture and society and perhaps even the Eschaton. Having turned 65 a few months ago, I even find myself rejoicing that I won't be around much longer to watch our society lose its mind. But people have been thinking such thoughts for centuries, and both Western society and the created order are still around.

Could it be, as Victor Davis Hanson suggests, that this stuff is cyclical, too. Maybe society and the universe aren't truly circling the drain after all.

And here's a useful thought: as much as people all over the world insist that they hate us, and as much as we act as if we hated ourselves at times, people are still fleeing from all over the world and coming here.

We can hope. We can pray.

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