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Looking to the past, present and future
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Every species has a past, present and a future. Those three words have been uttered since ancient times.

Recently, I decided to contact several of my past employers, chiefly for the purpose of finding out how those organizations have proceeded since I departed. To my surprise, I was remembered through historical records.

When I called the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia, where I last worked 30 years ago, the person who answered the phone has the position I created and has been in that spot for 14 years. Many goals were met while I was there, and I have fond memories from working there.

I also called Meals On Wheels of Fulton County, a former employer, and was reflecting on this past week when I realized that at my age, I have more years behind me than I have before me — unless I live to age 134.

In my present time, I have the world at my fingertips. In 2014, I feel I am a person who enjoys learning in any way I can. And in the information age, when encyclopedias that used to take up massive amounts of shelf space now fit in a pocket, that is a great type of person to be.

I always ponder issues in our society, in entertainment, sports, science and technology. This means I am always learning and excited about something.

Let’s take the financial crisis of the late 2000s, which is still affecting the economy worldwide. Maybe it has more to do with my financial status and my age; frankly, I would say yes to both.

Our current century has witnessed so many changes and transitions that it’s difficult to keep up with them: human rights issues, the Human Genome Project in 2003, the technology boom starting in the 1980s, and more.

Before then, I could only recall a few people I knew who owned phones.

I can recall a young man who would have a briefcase when he came to "happy hour.’’ He would put his briefcase on the bar, open it and start to talk. Most people thought he wanted to impress people at "happy hour". How yesterday. Small children now have cellphones.

On a less pleasant note, in the 21th century. there have been notable assassinations and attempted assassinations of people such as U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.

Although videos are very popular today, some form of writing is still the lead in entertainment. Social networking is a win-win for all ages.

Then there are the varied voices in America about our gun laws. History tells us the gun appeared around 1,000 A.D. Whatever side of the gun debate you are on, guns are here to stay. When I purchased my first home, my father – a World War II veteran -- presented me with two housewarming gifts: a kerosene heater and a .38 snub-nose.

The future is tomorrow, and many years from today. But it will never be a utopia.

As I recall from my college days in sociology class, we would discuss what such a community would be like: the ideal society. But it appears that our world has become more of a dystopia.

Since I am an optimist and a person who understands what is real, keeping updated about my community and the bigger picture of the world, I find there is always a place where my fingerprint can be placed for the betterment of my larger world.

No matter how crazy things get. we can always look thoughtfully on the past, present and future.

Dorothy Frazier Piedrahita welcomes reader comments. She can be reached at