Can we prevent change or is the past better?
By Jeanette Saxby,
Auckland, New Zealand.
There is no going back .Things cannot ever be the same.
We live in times of great change but perhaps it is no different for any other period of time gone before us. For instance, we live in the Information Age , our era seems dominated by computers and data. Collecting information on others, sharing knowledge.
Who knows if it is good or a step forward?
It is however irreversible. We can no more return to a past time and live the way our grandparents lived nor can we wake up and have yesterday.
Older people often lament how things were different in their day. Things were easier. I’m not sure I agree with anyone who describes living in the past century with two world wars in Europe. Would you want to relive that and the depression era in between ?
Things that I look back on and miss are homely skills and out doors things, for example, who makes jam these days?
I do because I love preserving but most people don’t collect and preserve fruit or make sauce and pickles unless it is for fun.
Who knits or sews these days?
Who has made and eaten their own bread in the youthful generation of people under 25?
Not too many I suspect.
Chronologically, time is marching on and we cannot return to the19 th or 20 th century unless it’s in our own thoughts and memories. Although a five hour car journey recently with a family member led me to conclude despite having the latest in technology their musical tastes were definitely last century. I’m pretty sure nothing they played was brought after 1980. Ugh ! I don’t like commercial music but I do love to hear new music. It’s great having teenage children for keeping up with new music.
I have come to reflect on this topic for a while and we can’t go back and we must continually go forward. To resist the movement means you may be left behind and possibly isolated. These days with Internet we are more connected than ever but loneliness is on the increase.
In our modern western society, generations do not share the same residence like they used to. Nana or grandad tend to live longer and be more independent or alternatively live in a rat home with medical care and a bunch of other older people. What is progress?
I see the increase in childhood obesity which is close to an epidemic like a metaphor for business collapse. Just as a young persons grows at a hugely increased rate, the result isn’t one of greater size equals greater productivity it nearly always results in the opposite.
A hugely obese person needs bigger shoes that are not within the normal range, a hugely big person needs special clothing to fit. Sometimes furniture too. The stress of the extra mass puts a strain on the body, the heart struggles to pump enough blood and is continually under pressure. The feet bear the weight but sometimes the joints fail. Sore knees and ankles are just one sign of stress and over loading.
Our cities are suffering the same fate. While some mayors and business people think soaring house prices and more people equals success the infrastructure isn’t there. House prices are rapidly becoming unaffordable and like the bulky body, the roads can’t cope and are also suffering blockages and breakdowns. Something has to change.
Some suggest going back to older times and less cars or even car-less days, or improved public transport which cost millions. I hope people continue to research alternative fuels and we end our reliance on oil.
But as even I learned today while in my simple experiment about going back in time. I went out to pick black berries to make some jam and maybe a pie although the act of picking blackberries is the same as it has always been my old picking spot was no longer there or if it was,time had changed the landscape. The growth from the trees and the height they are now made me feel less than familiar with the old paths. There are now new paths as nothing stays the same. Parents are in a rest home.