“You haven’t changed a bit!” I would have assured the woman I saw passing me on the street, had I stopped to talk. The daughter of one of our former presidents, she went to a girls’ school in New York at the same time I did, and I recognized her instantly, as always. Unfortunately, I might have added, had I not had control of myself; realizing I felt nothing but pity for the frozen-in-time human doll she’d become.
For indeed, she had the same hairstyle, figure, clothing and even expression on her face she’d favored the world with at the age of 14. The 60 years separating that era and this chance meeting haven’t brought any alterations to her that one could possible detect. And yet, the office her father filled once in the white house on Pennsylvania Avenue has been inhabited by many different men since he left the lawn in a helicopter, the government changing repeatedly, and morphing into something many of us hardly recognize as the work of our founding fathers anymore. It’s trying to adapt to the worldwide movements in ideologies and lifestyles of our human societies around the globe, as are we.
Yet clearly, this former acquaintance of mine has not. What will become of a creature like her, stuck in a time and place no longer extant? Smiling fatuously at the air around her as she always did, she doesn’t show any of the strain or distress many of us openly admit to after our recent election. Is that a better way to deal with what we fear? Has she figured out that turning herself into a fossilized piece of agate will insure her preservation? If we were to adopt her stance, the refusal to change will surely lead to our extinction, homo sapiens the only surviving species of the genus Homo vaguely remembered with mild nostalgia. Adaptation is the key to our survival.