Can You Feel The Nostalgia Tonight?

Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” played in my iTunes library last night.

I haven’t heard this song in years.

It’s been nearly 15 years since Disney’s “The Lion King” was released.

And what I want to say about it is probably the reverse of what you’re thinking.

Most people yearn for what they say was the simpler, gentler, safer, time of “X years ago.” They say the world is getting worse, America is getting worse, that it’s harder and harder to get up in the morning and push through the day, harder to see why it matters.

But for some reason I don’t see this. I hear the lyrics of the song and it still resonates:

Can you feel the love tonight?

The peace the evening brings

The world, for once, in perfect harmony

With all its living things

Times are tough, I know, but there's so much to be thankful for. So many incredible things - even just in the world of technology - that are bringing people closer together in a way never before possible.

  • Facebook lets you connect with old next door neighbors (people your parents' age!) and your middle school best friend's Mom (you know, the awesome one who made you Taquitos and Pizza Pockets?)
  • Twitter connects people 24 hours a day over trivia, thoughts, feelings, opinions - everything uncensored, unfiltered, in real time. The Beat Poets would have killed for something like this.
  • The next version of iPhone software has the real potential to save lives (think the diabetes software/peripherals demoed a couple weeks ago) and connect people around common interests. You can play games together, collaborate on a finger painting masterpiece, share photos, videos, voice notes.
  • You can read books on portable devices. Start reading on your Kindle in bed, pick up where you left off on your iPhone during lunch, and if you lose interest or finish, a new book is a couple taps or clicks away. You no longer have to drive to the bookstore or wait a few days for something to arrive in the mail. New universes are seconds from being born.
  • Five years ago, you taught your mom how to use email. Now you're showing her how to manage a site using a custom installation of Wordpress, and set up a Facebook Page to connect with her church congregation and share news, events, and thoughts for the day. For goodness sake, your grandparents even have email and Blackberries now.
  • The President of the United States communicates with regular people, has a video podcast, takes questions from website visitors, and doesn't let the only message we hear be something filtered through a partisan media.

There's so much more than just that, but essentially what I'm saying is that things are oftentimes more awesome than they seem on the surface. Even in an age of economic and social turmoil, there are amazing innovations, and people and companies are doing amazing things that are bringing us closer and closer together.

There's peace and stillness to be found amidst all the noise and distractions.

"There's a calm surrender to the rush of day" lurking beneath the surface, if you're willing to scratch it.