It must be strange for the current generation to hear the stories from the last one about society’s values in the times gone by, don’t you think? Those of us from that generation must often warmly recount our reminiscences, of not only what life was like and the way people were, in our prime time, but also tell about the memories that were indeed handed-down to us ourselves from our parents’ generation.
In life, things have got worse, substantially worse – but that without doubt has also been the judgement of every single generation since time immemorial, hasn’t it?!
In days gone by most people may well have had nothing and albeit to all intents and purposes were poor, but they were the salt of the earth, generous to a fault, proud, passionate, loving, self-reliant, loyal, resilient, monogamous, true fidelity (except the gentry?), accommodating, friendly, trustworthy. honest, principled, law abiding, fit, and much else besides, eh?
Compare that to modern times though, with most of us (in Britain anyway), relatively rich, with material things coming out of our earholes, but shallow, self-centred, insular, greedy, heartless, friendless, abusive, unreliable, cruel, shameless, and displaying low moral standards, to boot
In the past people were god aware even if not god fearing, but that has all changed in modern times, hasn’t it? What part turning into heathens has played, in the demise of our community is of course a matter of opinion, but our peoples used to be charitable and kind, which included being neighbourly and looking after family, particularly the elderly. People enjoyed the simple things of life, kids practically lived outside (even in cities like London) and got plenty of sunshine (no need those days for taking vitamin D tablets) and most of us got suntans without ever going on any aeroplane, eh?
Parks and open spaces have now been concreted over and houses built in towns and cities on every scrap of land. Most of us lived in modest houses, and kept our front steps clean, scrubbed, and often Cardinal red tile polished, while the few rich had the ‘big house on the hill’, but nowadays only ‘unaffordable’ mansions are built everywhere so most families cannot aspire to a decent home of their own, can they?
People enjoyed family life that included looking to the sick and elderly, they (including children) walked everywhere so got plenty of exercise, they ate to live not lived to eat, so only got fat because of a ‘genuine’ medical problem or diagnosed condition, they never needed fridges or freezers as food never lasted that long, we all valued an occasional treat like chocolate/sweets/fruit on birthdays and Christmas, they never needed wall to wall entertainment as they made their own (singing, dancing, poetry reciting, playing cheap simple musical instruments), kids played with made-up toys from cardboard boxes and all else, broken or worn-out things were mended not consigned to landfill, the young entrepreneurs amongst us collected newspapers, glass bottles and rags to make a few bob – no call or need for recycling rubbish collections in those days
Young lads made scary virtually un-steerable go-carts out of old pram wheels and discarded old planks, wooden boxes, and string which were pushed or trundled down the hilly empty roadways at a fine old lick without any un-invented crash helmets, or insurance liability, nor MOT (modern Health & Safety would have died on the spot). Generally, kids could safely stay out playing from dawn to dusk without getting knocked over, sexually abused, abducted, or killed
Before anyone says that our population lives longer in our modern times, have more, and are happier, let it be said first that medical advances have indeed extended life expectancy with new drugs & illness treatments, while better nutrition availability certainly further contributes to that. However, for far too many that only means that they face an extend ‘existence’, with inadequate resources, care and support by their family or community, don’t you think? The second, is that all the evidence points to us all being a lot who are widely unhappy with our lives nowadays, with unbearable pressures of today, in every walk of life, causing widespread devastating mental health distress issues, which is now at crisis point (some inevitably caused though by aging and dementia). That mental health decline unfortunately applies to our children as well as adults, and shockingly we have six thousand actual suicides a year these days (three quarters male). [A recent report says that every week one in every half a dozen adults suffers symptoms of anxiety or depression, and one in five adults has even considered taking their own life at some point]
Notwithstanding all that bumph, the worst thing by far that has changed in our lifetimes is the total lack of overriding commitment to our kids and properly looking after them, which directly arises from our society’s current focus on self self self, isnt it? There is simply no acceptance these days of the call for putting the needs and welfare of our offspring before anything else, is there? No, and that stems from a disgusting lack of personal values, commitment to our partners, or ultimately even of the parenting our families, don’t you think?
That all emanates from the cancer of infidelity now raging in our communities across the land [still not being addressed by our current society] and that causes the constant breakup of family units, where the ones who really suffer the outcome are the children involved, who become the long-suffering victims of their parents’ selfishness, wouldn’t you say?
In days gone by human mating required substantial moral, physical, financial, and indeed legal commitment – not any more, eh? The modern idea is that that it is well OK, for men and women to indulge in casual sex outside marriage (and indeed whether married or not), to get together to enjoy the benefits and joy of living together in a physical relationship, and through sex, whether intentionally or otherwise, beget children and so generate a family unit on a foundation of sand.
Yes, the days are long gone whereby we humans could match the behaviour of creatures in the wild who mate for life and will go to extraordinary lengths to rigorously and religiously look after their offspring [to name just some of them – argentian magellanic penguins (separately travel may thousands of ocean miles in winter, but return to land in spring to ‘successfully’ find their original lifelong mate amongst a hundred thousand others, eh?), swans, geese, pigs, lar gibbons, albatrosses, apes, gray wolves, turtle doves, termites, coyotes, barn owls, beavers, bald eagles, golden eagles, killer whales, condors, brolga cranes, french angel fish, sandhill cranes, pigeons, prions, crows, red-tailed hawks, anglerfish, ospreys, prairie voles, schistosoma mansoni worms, orcas, shingleback skink, pot-bellied seahorses, lovebirds, and black vultures (who will actually attack and sometimes kill an unfaithful member).
We have changed our society from one where the child bearing were maybe unequal (?), but nevertheless responsible women who sought the committed support and companionship of a male partner BEFORE any children were brought into the world. Not any longer though, not any longer the shame of being an irresponsible female who gets herself with child, not any longer the fear of the reckless male of getting a girl pregnant, not any longer the stigma of living in sin, eh?
No, our society nowadays simply ‘rewards’ the uncaring promiscuous by encouraging them to indulge their overheated sexual desires unabated without an ounce of responsibility thrown-in the mix. Or couples, who join together to create new lives, but happily abandon all that and any family responsibility to enjoy a different lifestyle (many doing it more than once), don’t they?
Young girls who escape the nest of their parents by getting kids of their own, often by multiple fathers, never doing a day’s work in their lives, so being forevermore financially supported by the State, and quickly given smart council flats and houses (the bigger & better the more illegitimate kids they bring into the world), as they are classified as being the ‘most-in-need’?
Youths and men of varying ages, often abusers of alcohol & drugs, often of the criminal fraternity, who sow their seed far and wide without a care in the world and without the previous financial & social consequences of old, simply because they get away with it time and time again, don’t they?
This all leads to the disgusting fact that Britain these days is the world leader in the family breakup stakes – not something to be proud of, surely? That all starts of course, with the lack of partnership commitment whereby couples live together (particularly over the past twenty-five years,) have children, but never get married, do they? You can say what you like in support of that crass behaviour and arrangement, but it really does lead to the fact that some 95% of them actually split-up within a decade and that 60% of their kids end up being from a broken home, don’t they? Not only that but the children are doubly likely to grow-up poor and that all starts before school age as well. This deprived bottom generation from family breakdowns inevitably are likely to fail at school, don’t get employment and often head for substance abuse and the long-term criminally intent groups.
[We have to turn-back the clock in the UK to give our children the future they deserve, and that starts by making big changes to force both parents into being fully responsible and totally accountable for any children they produce]