It is amazing the human mind. It can do wonderous things, given the right incentives. It can make giant strides forwards and backwards. Thus the truism 'if history is ignored you are condemed to relive it'. It also can take fiction and make it the future. One hundred years ago the automobile was a fad that would surely fade away. Electricity in the country, unthinkable! 25 bushel wheat was a good crop now is considered a crop failure. To fly 2-3-4 times the speed of sound, Buck Roger's fiction! A computer? Cell phone? Digital TV? Space Station?
Looking back at how our forefathers made it, without everything we take for granted, is nothing short of amazing. But our rural areas are now shrinking because one man can farm the same as 12-15. You can speed to a big city center in an hour or two and buy groceries at giant warehouses or elegant stores where your can buy groceries, eat a meal, buy a diamond and a couch, plus take flowers and your perscription with you.
A defeatist attitude can color the most positive person and difficulties are easy to give in to today because failure is expected. Personal responsibility is a thing of the past let alone the responsibility to carry on traditions that have made it thru 5 generations.
We have a community celebration that is put on in the hills every 3 to 5 years. It is based on the historical signing of a peace treaty with 5 plains indian tribes. It has been a tradition since 1927 and is the trademark of our community. 5 generations have participated in it and it is a terribly hard and expensive thing to continue. But it has always been continued by pride, a responsibility to the past, and a hope for the future.
As our area shrinks and people die or move on it is an even bigger burden to those that remain. But the rest of the world takes for granted that such a grand production will continue on into the 6th, 7th, and 8th generations. It is so great a burden that it is felt by many that they cannot continue it and they use the line "this may be the last one" as a desperate hope that enough people will come to make it worthwhile.
I cannot imagine what the feeling will be when the next generation will ask why did you let it die? The excuses are all reasonable and valid but the question remains that when these people are sitting in a coffee shop, with their walkers and memories, will they be proud, ashamed, or indifferent that the great pageant was closed on their watch.
Lets hope that the ones that have had enough will step aside gracefully and cheer on the next generation that will put it on again.