The other day at the mall, I came upon the unfolded paper fan of Figure 1, and it really took me back to my youth in the fifties and sixties. Life was simpler then, at least as I remember it. But memory can, indeed, be fickle. The reminder here was of the toy folding-fans of those days. We delighted in simple objects like folding-fans, and sparking wheels, and, of course, yo-yos. Life was, in general, simpler back then, well with the exception of nuclear annihilation. I heard recently that we are closer today to nuclear annihilation today than we have been since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Of all the things to bring back! What moron did that? Ooh, I guess that I kinda know…
But there were no cell phones or computer games, and really there were only three channels on American TV. We did not know that we needed these things. I delighted once in the thought of 200 channels. But what has come of it, just a lot more pablum.
We are told in 1 Corinthians 11: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” I remember very vividly sitting in my room and wanting to play a game, but thinking, “no you are too old for that!” Well, let me tell you that, right now, I am very sorely tempted to step back and search EBay for either a folding-fan or a sparking wheel. I could sit happily in the dark, ignore the election and the fear of nuclear annihilation, and delight in the retro whir and colorful sparks. And these themselves would spark a reminiscence of childhood and perhaps the realization that the virtue of adulthood lies in the power to make one’s own choices.
It is, dear friends, as Eeyore taught us:
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”