Life in America: Ultimately There’s Nothing New Under the Sun.

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( When I was in high school, my favorite teacher was Barry McNealy. A graduate of the same high school, he taught history and worked as a tour guide at the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum. One of the many things that he taught me that stuck was…

Life in America: Ultimately There’s Nothing New Under the Sun.

There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

This was typically in reference to several things you’ll notice over time and how these events tend to repeat regardless of the decade. Sure, it’s rarely exactly the same but the same scenarios and situations occur every. single. year. Without fail!

As a teenager, I didn’t think much about it but kept in the back of mind. I enjoy history and researching, so it was a bigger of knowledge I would keep in my memory palace and revisit. However, sayings like that aren’t exactly something you revisit. Instead, it’s something that clicks and a powers that lightbulb above your head once you realize it.

In my case, it was while following the George Zimmermann case on TruTV in 2013. Having learned some of what I call Black History+ from McNealy, a lot of the comments and discussion had reminded me of the climate he explained during other points in history.

After that, I began to notice that beyond that, a lot of events simply repeated. The faces were different as was the time but the root cause and the takes were the same as they ever were. They were merely contemporary.


“Oh. It’s You Again.”

I’d say all Americans will eventually notice this. You might realize this when you’re older or you’ve come to this conclusion earlier in life. Hell, today might be the day it clicked. The thing is that it will click. You might have heard it and looked around thinking “They didn’t have smartphones and Alexa in 1993,” and you’d be correct.

Innovation happens when people become lazy, can see an easier way to do something,  or simply seek convenience. The resulting inventions come about in those decades and might be viewed as groundbreaking years later. I mean, the grabbing claw for reaching out-of-reach items isn’t exactly praised like smart devices or even something dated like the DVD and Blu-ray players but it came about because of a need.

However, matters such as social issues and law tends to be largely the same from decade to decade. You can expect improvements over the years—even within your lifetime—but the overall issues will stick around. Laws will change as society changes but many will be in place after we’re gone and some of those laws present issues depending on decade.

The point is that some victories, violations, events and episodes will repeat themselves in your lifetime and perhaps even in your life. That’s really where you decide whether to dwell on it or if it even relates to your life directly. There are events that all Americans and even all humans will see repeatedly that could impact society or just personal events in your life that you’ve run into before

If someone has a friend with an addiction chances are they will see and even have to handle a situation involving that friend and their vices. Certain situations in a romantic or sexual relationship—whether red flags or just occurrences—might happen more than once either with the same partner or different ones.

Life at its most complacent is when something comes back around and you think “You again.” Apparently this is a person who has run into this several times in their lifetime and they’ve reached the point of just being indifferent. They’ve experienced something similar or this exact situation but they’ve grown tired of it—yet it’s something they can handle. They know how to deal with it or are certain they can weather it even if they don’t want to.

And Now for Something Completely Different

So, are there surprises in life at all? Of course! Hell, there’s things you and I haven’t seen and experienced and being able to experience it might be a surprise itself. We all know that surprises can come in all shapes, at any moment, and can vary from being a wonderful surprise to an awful one.

Ultimately, it’s these surprises—when they do cross our paths—that take a lot of repetition and routine out of life. A catchphrase of Monty Python’s Flying Circus was “And now for something completely different.” That “something different” plays a big role in not only taking our minds off of the reruns we experience in life but it can drive us to get out of our routine whether we want to experience more of that or work towards preventing it.

What are some events or episodes you’ve experienced that tend to repeat itself? Do you believe there’s nothing new under the sun or very little under the sun. Maybe you take the approach of “Today is a new day”.

Share your thoughts below.

Staff Writer; James Swift, Jr.

Gaming since 1989 and headbanging since 1999, James enjoys comics, RPGs, wrestling, and all things old school and retro. Check out his writing here AfroGamers and The Black Rock and Heavy Metal. You can also find him on Twitter at; metalswift and soon on Kick where he will stream mobile titles.

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