This year, we have seen so much fall away, so much shift and change. It has left us unsettled, in question and scared. What next? seems to be on everyone's mind.
In the last two months, we have lost a fair share of icons. Each represented something different. The "me" of the 70s. The excess of the 80s. The buy-one-get-one-free-in-three-easy-payments 90s. The integrity of newscasting through the decades. And now the "lion" of liberals.
We don't use terms like, "Sex Appeal" much anymore. But Farrah embodied it. Today, we would mock anyone who declared themselves King or Queen of something. But, somehow, coming out of the materialistic 80s, we shrugged our shoulders and played along. How many of us got sucked in to buying the latest-greatest-product-ever in the 90s? I am raising my hand as a proud owner of the Caruso Curlers. How often have we wished that Walter Cronkite read us our news? At least then it was the facts, not the hype. And, even with all his faults, we will miss the kind of public service and progressive vision that Senator Kennedy gave.
The past seems to be slipping away from us as we step into an uncertain future. These icons, these anchors, are gone now. I wonder what icon will represent this decade? Will it be Bald Britney? Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan? Will it be the crumbing Twin Towers? That bumbling idiot we were forced to call president for much too long? Will it be the two wars and the soldiers forced to fight them over and over and over again? Will it be Wall Street or Madoff? Or will it be Hope?
In the face of all these endings, it's time to begin. It's time to change, for the better. To be brave and compassionate. To be fair. To truly make this country equal. To be responsible. To provide to those in need. I hope, if nothing else, this decade will have taught us to care, to be involved and to not turn a blind eye. From September 11th to Katrina to Wall Street to today, as this decade winds to its close, I hope we will be courageous enough to write a happier ending and not be afraid to move forward.