It’s one of the oldest adages in the generational handbook. You know, gray-beards uttering the words and young-ones not convinced. If Edgar Guest was right that “it takes a heap of living to make a house a home,” it probably takes a heap of attentive living to notice just what these words are saying.
Currently there’s a pop rage — 1940s dress-up parties, collecting old discarded typewriters, and even that amazing “new” idea admiring the stay-at-home mom. What will they think of next!
Every generation thinks “their way” was the right way. [Their evidence? “Hell, I lived it so that makes me an expert on the subject.”] Every new generation shakes their head “Believing it doesn’t make it right.” [As usual, both have a piece of the truth]. Probably the best objective evidence are the data from the two times. They tell us a lot.
Today’s times are bursting with new ideas, new technologies, new cures, and new frontiers. To every generation’s benefit. Yesterday’s times included depression, wars, and poverty; however not as much crime, violence, drugs, dropouts and divorce. How do you compare generational apples with oranges?
Today’s zeitgeist is rooted in a passion for individual liberty. Yesterday’s more in a respect for social order. There was a hierarchy of order — as we recall reading Jane Austen or watching Downton Abbey — in which parents, teachers, clergy, and police were held up on a higher level of respect. Was it simply habit? fear? force? Whatever it was, it was a time in which it was usually safe to walk the streets at night, to visit any neighborhood in the city, to consider an authority as someone deserving your respect….oh, and on a hot summer night, you could actually sleep on a park bench knowing no one would bother you.
That last fact…well, it’s so deliciously stunning, I myself can barely recall how many safe times I did it.
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