Yesterday Trevor and I visited an estate sale in our neighborhood. The owner’s husband had died a couple of years earlier, and while she was not quite ready to leave a home she had lived in for decades, the sale was initiated by her knowing the time was near.
When I go to these kinds of sales I always head straight for the books, because you never know what kind of gems you will find! As luck would have it, she was selling a variety of old books that had ended up in her library from many sources. One book I found interesting was called The Coming Crisis by Fritz Sternberg published in 1947.
We chatted about the book and ultimately about the nature of history. She was well educated – a literary major – and saw the irony in the title given our present-day challenges. The future crisis Fritz wrote about post WW II was economic in nature, and based in large part on experiences from the Great Depression. His thesis was that in time, political and economic forces will collide in ways that bring massive hurt to the world. And interestingly, he believed the US would ignore the signs and be ill-prepared when it arrived.
History does repeat itself. If we step away from the lessons, it’s hard not to marvel at how the more life changes, the more it stays the same.