Carpe Diem Nation or Nation of Futurity?

The New York Times OP-ED Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carpe Diem Nation, by David Brooks

Are we “seizing the day”  now and not looking to the future as we did?  David Brooks thinks so in his interesting column:  

“Europeans who settled in America gave their lives a slingshot shape.  They pulled back so they could shoot forward.  They volunteered to live in harsh conditions today so their descendants could live well in for centuries.  The pioneers who traveled West did the same thing  So has each generation of immigrants–sacrificing the present for the sake of the future.  

This slingshot manner of life led to one of those true national cliche’s:  that America is the nation of futurity, that Americans organize their lives around romantic visions of what is to be…

This future-oriented mentality had practical effects.  For decades, governments invested heavily in long-rage projects like railroads and canals.  Today, Americans have inverted this way of thinking.  instead of sacrificing the present for the sake of the future, Americans now sacrifice the future of he sake of the present.”

The use of “slingshot” in this way is very interesting. Using slingshots in battle, hunting and games goes back a long way.  The basic slingshot has a “Y” shape with the piece across the “Y” a rubber or some kind of elastic matter in which the projectile or ammunition is held.   One pulls back and then releases to let the piece fly.

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