Six Sentence Story- Progress Shouldn’t Hurt

Prompt word: labyrinth

She’d always thought her grandparents- born at the beginning of the 20th century- were the generation who witnessed the most dynamic human change in a lifetime, but the cultural changes of her sixty-six years eclipsed those industrial, medical, and technological advances they had beheld.

Her stomach twisted every time she reminisced about her childhood of jumping rope on the playground and feeling completely safe only to return to her present, a place and time of declared progress yet tragically foreign and ominous.

She’d like to blame it all on the 1960s but on closer examination there really was a labyrinth of cultural rot that went unnoticed while the rapid “advancement” of the human experience was cheered along.

The hippies, militaristic feminism, and the drug culture, were just the first glaringly emboldened movements to take center stage; all made possible by the everyday comforts and prosperity that the enormous leap of the sciences had secured.

Earlier, when she walked by the schoolyard, small children stood separated wearing surgical masks just twirling in circles with one child erupting in a rant filled with vulgar language getting no notice from the teacher nearby.

One child’s eyes widened with shock and met hers, but to steal her hoping to guard her precious innocence was not possible, so she wept for her instead as she walked home praying for all those children’s future.

19 thoughts on “Six Sentence Story- Progress Shouldn’t Hurt

  1. Doug Jacquier 07/06/2022 / 7:44 pm

    I hear your pain but I’m not sure it started with the hippies. More likely it started when corporations and their scientist servants began to run the planet and turned us all into disposable objects. But I digress. 😉 Good Six.

    • Susan St.Pierre 07/06/2022 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks. The hippies were a visible sign of rot like a sore. The rot had many inspirations.

  2. Frank Hubeny 07/06/2022 / 8:13 pm

    Good description of the unnoticed cultural rot: “there really was a labyrinth of cultural rot that went unnoticed “

    • Susan St.Pierre 07/06/2022 / 8:16 pm

      😢 Prosperity keeps people focused on unimportant things I’m afraid.

  3. Staarlz 07/07/2022 / 12:22 am

    So well done, Susan, very insightful–the 3rd sentence is my favorite, as I agree with you. The 60’s didn’t really do us any favors…

      • Staarlz 07/07/2022 / 11:04 am

        Welcome! 🙂

  4. ceayr 07/07/2022 / 3:53 am

    Brutally accurate depiction of today’s society.
    But I think you are far too critical of the hippies, who tried but could not deliver.

    • Susan St.Pierre 07/07/2022 / 7:14 am

      Thanks. The hippies were a symptom at first. A ‘wakeup call’ perhaps but I fear their counterculture revolution moved directly into universities and produced generations who’d rather tear down everything than restore.

  5. UP 07/07/2022 / 11:55 am

    i blame the beatniks…pre hippie

  6. jenne49 07/07/2022 / 2:11 pm

    What a piercing and accurate description of our world today.
    I remember the enthusiasm of the 1960s, the belief that we were forming a new world which would be free, equal and just… but which could not stand up against the corporate powers. Solzhenitsyn apparently once said that world war 3 was already being waged and we were losing it – the war against greed.
    A good, thought-provoking piece, Susan.

  7. messymimi's meanderings 07/08/2022 / 4:19 pm

    So true. Our churches went to sleep, lulled by prosperity, letting a culture of “there is no moral certainty” take over, and that did not help, either.

  8. GirlieOnTheEdge 07/09/2022 / 11:20 am

    Poignant, well written Six, Susan!
    I’m with Staarlz – sentence 3 stood out to me. There is certainly a labyrinth, massive in size.
    Good to see you at the Six.

  9. classypoetryandwine 07/11/2022 / 6:42 am

    Sadly, this is so true, I remember being one of those kids who had to learn to “grow up” fast and by the age of 11 was smoking and cursing behind the schoolyard like a sailor. I wish we could somehow protect the innocence for longer, but sadly, they will have to make their own choices, just seems a little early.

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