King Solomon (in Koheles) writes “Dor Holaych, Vdohr Bah” one generation goes, one generation comes. Yawn, how boring, how the same. The rise of a people who think they’ve discovered it all, just to leave behind their ruins and shells to be examined by future archeologists and tourists.
One wave replaced by another, one civilization built upon the ruins of those before, and nothing much changes.
The injustice of serfs still felt in inner cities, the middle class still carry both rich and poor, and the rich leech off of society with no hold on reality.
The Citadel by A.J. Cronin and the greed of the medicine men didn’t change since the time in 1937 when it was written.
Victor Hugo writing of judicial ineptness and sheer stupidity might well have been talking of the corruption of here instead of France. (Did you ever sit in on some court proceedings – I have –and it is mind-boggling how perverted is justice. See below for one ridiculousness.).
Charles Dickens, discussing poorhouses and social workers of England way back in time – hah, it isn’t as if ACS and shelters currently are not out of line. They are, harming, disdaining, crippling those who they are mandated to “help”.
The same greed, lust for power, injustice, and the smugness of “ah, we rule.” The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So then what? Cut yourself down to size, my friends, and realize, “sof davar Hakol Nishma”, at the end of time, when the movie of all times and generations will be played on the Big Screen, you will get to witness that all that mattered was doing the right thing, the G-dly thing “kee zeh kal ha’adam” for that is what really defines a human and gives an eternal lasting power to us. Koheles ends off with the verse that in the end of time, G-d will bring justice to all the hidden things and hold it up to the truth, to see whether what was done “was it good or was it bad.”
Ever wonder, as did Mark Twain, as to the secret of the Jew’s immortality [you can read his essay here: http://ohr.edu/judaism/concern/concerna.htm]. Twain has moved on past the world and he didn’t get it. Jews outlive civilizations for we realize only G-d-based morality has lasting power. We must realize that our homes and professions, our science breakthroughs, our rise to political power means nothing other than a passing moment. The only thing to last, the only thing to focus on with all our might, is doing what is right.
 So there I sat in night court, just watching and listening. It was the first time I had seen a court in session. Very officious, with robes and clearing of throats and sonorous reading of charges. They bring in this vagabond, some homeless bloke who had just sat for about a day and night in the jail before coming to see “his honor” about the charges of, gasp, panhandling. The judge found him guilty and imposed a fine of (I’m not sure, but think it was…) $250. To be paid in a month. Or a warrant for the arrest of this individual would be issued. And I thought, woa, where the heckity-heck do you think this vagabond will come up with $250, if he does. Ummm, yeah, that makes sense, impose a fine on someone who was begging for money. Logic beyond rational.