In Gettysburg I still feel close to my grandparents, and I still go to these rolling hills for reflection. Yet so much has changed since that time—not just the disappearance of the Stuckey's souvenir shops or the Rexall drugstore on Gettysburg's main square—the fabric of our society today has a different texture than it did in the 1950s: some of it stronger but much of it badly frayed.
Engaging one's deepest self was easier in those days—with long waits between letters and long-distance phone calls deferred until Sunday when the rates were cheaper. Today, tethered to smartphones and transfixed by Twitter and Instagram, we lurch from one demand to another with scarcely a moment to think. Our impulses are reactive, not considered. They are short-term rather than strategic. We have lost our capacity to act in the present while thinking into the future. We are struggling.
-Susan Eisenhower, from her Introduction to How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower's Biggest Decisions