Thomas Sowell: 75 years old

Dr. Thomas Sowell writes an interesting retrospective on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

Three-quarters of a century! It is hard to believe that I am that old but arithmetic is uncompromising. This means that I have lived through nearly one-third of the entire history of the United States. The changes in my life — and still more so in the life of the country around me and in the world at large — have been almost unbelievable.

He spends the next several paragraphs discussing the highs and lows of American and world history over his lifetime. His conclusion:

All the dark and ominous times that this country and the world have passed through and overcome in the past 75 years make it hard to despair, even in the face of growing signs of internal degeneracy today. Pessimism, yes. Despair, not yet.

In my personal life, I can remember a time when our family had no such frills as electricity, central heating, or hot running water.

Even after we left the poverty-stricken Jim Crow South and moved to a new life in Harlem, I can remember at the age of nine seeing a public library for the first time and having to have a young friend explain to me patiently what a public library was.

There is much to complain about today and to fear for the future of our children and our country. But despair? Not yet.

We have all come through too much for that.

Quite true.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.