I've only saved a small portion of my paper correspondence over the years, but I'm something of a digital packrat.
I have ascii files (originally done in Appleworks (for the IIc)) of letters, school reports, and other writeing that date all the way back to middle school.
For a while during High School(mostly at the demand of a particularly sadistic english teacher), I kept a journal... THAT is an intresting read... detailing my progressive disillusionment with xtiananity... how I pissed my dad off by dating "out of the faith" and having a jewish girlfriend (I forget how many hail marys it takes to absolve THAT sin). Intresting process; I went from being a good little xtian, confessing my sins, taking communion, and everything... and as I slowly thought more and more for myself, read more and more books that the church would rathar I had not, I developed a deep loatheing for xtiananity that I hold to this day. But damn, I was a scary kid in those days.
My college papers show an equally drastic change. I started in college as a standard-issue coldhearted "mine Mine MINE" republican. Then, throughout the four and a half years of college, I developed more empathy, more compassion, a sence of obligation and careing for my fellow human beings. Back in the day, I actually wished I had been two years older so I could have voted for george I against Clinton. By the time Bob Dole vs. Clinton came along, I was like "yeah, whatever, they both suck". Now, I've seen the truth about the right and hold george II in the lowest contempt possible.
It was, as you say, in BOTH cases, such a slow change I never saw it happening. It's only NOW, when I look back at my old writings, that I can ask "damn... was *I* really THAT inhuman beast?!?!?"... and realise, sadly, that I was.
Imagine all the people...
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