Sunday, July 15, 2012

Are we better of than our Grand Parents

I hate to fall into cynacism but the answer is no. The changes in the world are not going to be undone. Unfortunately, many people with good intentions just made things worse.

In my grandparents day you could work in the same job without retraining until retirement. The way technology is this is a thing of the past. The days where you had a crew of buddies that worked with you for years is finnished. Even in my current job maybe ten people are there when I started five years ago in NYC. Many have retired and we are working like dogs. What is a lunch break? Officers are supposed to be on three days and off two for clerical work. Haven't had that in a while.

Marriages lasted for lifetimes and communities remained unchanged. You knew your neighbor and had kids at the same time. Now everyone moves all over the place. Since there were three channels you watched similar shows as your friends. Now with cable you have channel after channel of shlock. Even the quality of video games has gone down because we don't spend as much time on story as we do on effects.

You walk your neighborhood and look for the familiar family Pizza Parlor or Chinese Resturant but they are gone casualties of the economy. I look at the places around me that have gone belly up. The Pizza place was here since 1964 and is kaput. The Chinese place with slave labor is finnished and that was here since 1970.  We replace them with chain stores that are all alike. Don't get me wrong but McDonald's are not unique enough to be a community icon.

We look at gadgets like a cell phone or an I Pad. These are not replacements for a community and stability.
Psychology is more apt to damage relationships and create bigger problems.

Are we better off than our grandparents? If measured by gadgets yes. If measured by happiness no. There is almost a sense of daily alienation as nothing is permanent. Families, friends, jobs, communities all seem disposable and it is our loss.


Always On Watch said...

Great post, Beak!

I don't have to go as far back to my grandparents' days to love the idyllic existence that we had in America. Here in Fairfax County, we were very rural until the mid-1960s.

Case in point....

One time, when I was about 13, I walked up to the nearby mom-and-pop store to buy a pack of smokes. I wanted to try them out. The guy behind the counter said: "Are you so-and-so's daughter? You're to young to smoke. Go on back home."

And I did.

Nobody tattled to my parents, either.

I do think that my parents (b. in 1911 and 1916) were happier than most of us today. Certainly, they were not as pressured in many ways. And they read more too. Books and magazines everywhere! We rarely turned on the television and had a family meal (or more) every single day. Good times. Very Norman Rockwell.

Always On Watch said...

PS: Sorry for my recent absence here at your blog, Beak. Mr. AOW and I have been taking museum trips! See Mr. AOW's blog. Wish that you were here to go on some of these trips with us. I think that you might be able to ride the paratransit van as a "companion": I am designated as PCA.