Times were better back then…
I wonder if life would have been simpler 40, 60, or 80 years ago: before the internet, modern electrical advancements, and high speed transportation. No YouTube to distract us, no comforts to become entitled of, and no transportation that enables physical laziness. I’m not sure. All these advancements give me the opportunity to do everything that is seen as good and freeing in this period in time but at the same time they do detract some quality of life that seems purer when you look back at the old times. What is this quality that people sometimes hope for? It is a sort of simplicity or pureness that they observe to be gone in the modern era. Does this exist, were times worse or better in past times, and how can we bridge the gap by explaining the phenomena?
I don’t believe that times were either simpler or purer in any past period in history. 30 Years from now people will look back and believe this current period in time to be purer and simpler but that doesn’t mean it is. The very reason certain people look back and believe times were better then is because they believe them to be not as good now. Every generation or period in time has problems that seem pressing and complicated for the time. That’s just how life works. I guarantee some people of those times, 30 or 40 years ago, believed that their everyday life was too complex and wished that they were descendants of a previous generation. This is common human mentality. Times in the past seem simpler because often we remember or have access to see only that which is most good and joyful. The sorrowful and disheartening stories are shut out and not remembered or spread often. This causes our view of the past as quite biased. Things seem simpler and more pure back then only because we tend to remember that which were truly simpler and pure while shutting out that which were complex and difficult. My parents will be the first one to remind me that back then they had to walk 3 miles to school through rice fields and with no shoes or sandals or phone. I’m much more comfortable with my Nike shoes, iPhone, and Car if I wanted to get places. Truly. I think times are simpler now.
If you are lucky enough to live in a good resourced area, you have immense access to knowledge via internet, electricity, water, efficient transportation, and quality food. You can get anything in this world in a more convenient fashion than was ever imaginable 10 years ago let alone 40. As technology is rapidly improving we get more and more access to quality services that enable us to do more and more in our lives and save more and more time. While internet has also enabled social media to exist, which I agree that large amounts of is not good for anyone, it has also allowed us to learn much more than thought previously possible at the click of a button for absolutely free — thats quite beautiful if you ask me. Internet has birthed so many employment avenues and executed so many dreams of different individuals it is mind-boggling. And that is just one invention that has enabled us to move so forward as a human race. Now some people will say that the internet has also allowed people with dubious intents to congregate. While that is absolutely true, I think thats a good thing. I think it is good for people to come out and expose their bigotry, evils, and ill-advised values so that it can be addressed. Either by other people on this Earth or time. If it was masked like it was in the olden days, it would just continue on through generations being spread like seeds to off-spring. Now descendants of ill-advised people can form their own opinions due to the easy access of education and knowledge. I think that gives each individual on this earth that is lucky enough to have access to the internet immense power. On the contrary, the internet has also allowed millions of people who are clean souled and represent that which is good in the world to congregate as well. These people have congregated to battle rape, gender inequality, animal abuse, war, human rights, and much more that if I mentioned all of them, I’m sure I would meet some sort of Medium character count limit. So yes, I think times are purer than ever before and our technology is helping them get purer and more simple for us humans day by day as we advance ourselves and the world with us. Yes we have discovered some problems along the way. Yes this technology has given rise to unexpected negative consequences. But the beauty of humans is that once we identify these problems and congregate around them to battle them, we do. And we are good at solving such problems to ensure that we continue to advance. Think environmental protection and mental health challenges. Think of the strides of advancement we have made since the gradual discovery of these issues. It’s a gradual snowball effect that will continue to grow.
There is only one way to bridge the gap between the past and the present and that is to realize that the past paves the present. All the advancements made in culture, politics, maths, and sciences then, are why we behave and experience our life like this currently. This will be true when our direct descendants look back at this current period in time and will continue to be true till humans inhabit this earth. Humans and life were basically the same throughout history. There were always personal, political, cultural, and historical problems throughout every generation. Different specific problems, but same categories. The only thing truly different was the certain knowledge they had to deal with some of those problems. But I have a strong hunch that the spirit of life in every individual today is very similar to an individual of the 60s era. Everyone then, now and tomorrow wants to do something for themselves, their family, or their communities. This is a general principle of human life that has remained since the BCs. So no, life was not simpler in the past or more pure. It was just as complex and difficult. Looking back, however, we are cherry-picking that which seems good and applying that to defining the whole generation. The world is more convenient than it ever was. Sure there are some problems, but that doesn’t mean the general situation of life is worse than it was previously. Life continues to move and humans continue to change in a positive way.