posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 07:34 PM
Jack (OP) --- did you see the news article yesterday ?
Stated that the older generations have a much more positive approach to life
The article was based on recent research conducted in the US
( If I remember, I'll try to post a link to it later. Would have posted it in its own thread, but figured it would be a waste of bandwidth in the
current political climate and discussions devoted to same )
To answer your question, I can't help referring to my own parents' and grandparents' time .. and even before that, to the mid-1800s
When I was young, newspapers (which were held in far greater regard than now) were advising that by the 1970s, it would be a case of 'standing room
only' on this planet. And to emphasise how bad it would be, the article (citing experts of the day) was accompanied by a graphic illustration,
showing thousands of people crammed together, their faces upthrust to capture some of that rare air, which apparently was going to be in such
shortage. I remember it as thousands of humans standing like sunflowers, their faces uptilted
It was a pretty frightening prediction and my sense of preservation kicked in to the point I mentioned the article to my father and suggested a way of
preventing it was to kill everyone over the age of 45. That seemed reasonable to me. After all, to a young person, 45 seems 'over the hill'.
People of 45 have had a life. Not much to follow apart from grey hair and dotage. Best to eliminate them to make room for the young. My father just
nodded and told me ok ... and to let him know if I still felt the same way when I turned 45
Well as we know, the 'experts' prediction didn't eventuate in 1975 and today, it sounds absurd. Just as a lot of the current gloom and doom will
sound absurd to today's young ATS-ers, in a few decades
Back in the 1970's, Nostradamus featured in a flurry of alarmist television documentaries. People put a lot more credence in the pronouncements of
television then. And we were being advised that Armageddon was nigh, etc. Nostradamus' predictions were being deciphered to 'mean this and say
that', etc. Again, it was pretty frightening, to the point a Sydney grandmother killed her two adored grandchildren and then herself, to spare them
the predicted hell on earth
But back in my parents' day, ordinary childhood and other diseases decimated populations. Not even penicillin then. People and particularly
children were laid waste by scarlet fever, whooping cough, even measles. Very few had electric washing machines or vaccuum cleaners or wall to wall
carpets or other modern conveniences to make it easier to effectively clean a home and eradicate 'germs'
Then you could research the lives of those between and during the World Wars and the during the Great Depression and the dust-bowl devastations.
People lived with imminent death, starvation, misery and poverty. Crime was rife. Wages were low. Food was scarce. Cothing was patched and mended
and handed down. Only the rich had motor vehicles. Many families watched their loved-ones die for lack of money to pay for doctors and hospitals or
Europe was soaked in blood. Families were divided and sometime separated for life. People queued for the chance to buy a piece of horsemeat. There
was food-rationing even long after WW1, for example, in the UK. One egg per week and a couple of ounces of butter per person and once purchased, a
stamp was applied to a book without which you could not buy foods etc., to prevent people from buying more than their allowance per week. Children
had rickets from lack of vitamins. No birth control methods. Unbelievably primitive and painful treatments for sexually transmitted diseases (which
were rife as result of fighting forces contracting such diseases on tour overseas)
Discipline in schools then was unrestrained and frequently and enthusiastically administered as a matter of course, as it was in the armed forces, on
the street, in homes, etc. Police and neighbours were given a pat on the back for administering physical beatings. Women were paid a fraction of hte
male wage, if they were able to land a job that didn't consist of housework (their own and for others). Dress standards were far stricter and even
the low-paid worker was expected to maintain those standards. Women were required to wear hats and gloves and stockings, wear petticoats beneath
their outer-clothing, carry lace-trimmed handkerchiefs as a matter of course. These were all expensive items in the days before mass-produced asian
If you didn't possess the money or brains to attend university, then of course, you didn't even consider it. Poor families expected their older
children to take any job offered as soon as they were of minimum legal working-age. No matter that those children possessed skills and talents --
poor families couldn't afford to indulge them and they were put to work as assistant rat-catchers, plumbers and butchers apprentices. Girls were put
to work as maids and cleaners or shop-work and of course this generally determined their future -- determined the type of person they would marry, the
areas in which they would live
The working-week was considerably longer and harder then. Attending church on Sundays was expected of most. And helping out at home was taken for
granted -- hand-washing clothing and floors, hand-beating carpets which first had to be dragged outide and beaten hard and long with whicker bats. No
sweet-smelling washing powders or fluffy rinses, no modern shampoos, little variety in make-up, few packaged goods, etc.
And always the threat of wars, of diseases and pandemics and the attendant sufferings and deaths -- of strikes that could put families literally out
on the streets, etc.
The further we go back in history, the harsher life was for the ordinary person. Yet wars and threat of wars, diseases, financial hardships etc.
And of course, throughout our history, have been prophecies of 'end times', of the wrath of God, of consuming hellish fires, of punishments, of
devils and demons and the lamentations of millions
Through it all, people worked, fell in love, married and raised families. They lost loved-ones in wars and had to pull themselves up by their
bootstaps to rebuild bombed and destroyed communities, save to rebuild their churches and schools, give hope to the young, minister to the old and
Guess to each of them, at the time, the world seemed to be falling apart with grim futures staring them in the face. Just like now
Those poor widows and children, for example, who trudged miles by foot to the carnage left by the most recent bloodbath, in order to search through
the hacked and crow-devoured corpses, in order to find their husband, son, brother, father. Then after they'd buried them by hand, they had to face
lives of unimaginable misery without breadwinners in a time of nil female-employment and when welfare or other assistance hadn't even been heard
We don't have it so bad in comparison, do we ? Maybe it just seems as if we do