Man is an overcomplicated organism. If he is doomed for extinction, he will die out for want of simplicity. ~ Ezra Pound
Life is different today than it was in my youth, and it doesn’t seem to have improved. Daily life is more stressful, complicated, and quite frankly, corrupt. A type of innocence is lost.
I understand that life is not just black and white like the photos on this blog post, but humans tend to make things way more complicated than necessary.
It’s satisfactory not to be responsible, or even pay bills. In fact, having values or morals, whether related to religion or not, seems to be treated as passé or unenlightened. Traditional values have disappeared to the point where even the traditional family is looked upon as small-minded.
Many believe we need to change, or progress in order to evolve. This is well and good, I’m all for change, but why must it mean we need to give up our values? Isn’t standing by our values and being honest about them called “integrity?” Or, is that passé too?
Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity. ~ Thor Heyerdahl
When I speak of morals, I’m not necessarily referring to religion, although those who are devoted to a religion are belittled these days too. Someone like Tim Tebow is made out to be some sort of freak, or unintelligent, because of his faith. I don’t consider myself the type of Christian Tebow is, but I don’t understand why living a wholesome life of faith is a bad thing. He isn’t hurting anyone, yet he’s treated like he’s a low-life who is beneath our society. This is progress? His type of character used to be held up as a role model.
Aside from religion, I was raised to have virtue. I was taught to “be a lady,” respect myself and my elders, be polite, greet my loved ones with a kiss and a hug, be there for each other, even though we argue (and we Italians do argue). I was taught that I was responsible for my own actions, which meant dealing with the consequences whether they be good or bad.
Don’t even get me started on reality television. However, such TV shows are pretty blatant indicators of the degradation of our society, which includes being pigs in public, disrespectful, uncaring, selfish, rude, irresponsible and even violent with one another.
I read somewhere that there are fewer inventive people in our world today. Much of the youth doesn’t know how to create things with their hands. They get a trophy just for showing up. They are taught that competition is a bad thing because it hurts someone’s feelings. So, where do they gain self-confidence, and what motivates them to thrive?
If there exists no possibility of failure, then victory is meaningless. ~ Robert Schuller
We talk about taking away guns from people, most especially disturbed people, but how are they getting disturbed in the first place? Perhaps this “village” (society) that is supposed to help raise a child is misleading our youth. In the real world, when failure hits, they think it’s the end of the world. Maybe this is why so many behave as if they have nothing to lose, because they feel worthless. If there are no winners or losers, where do we set our standards? What do we have, if not dreams to reach goals that we’ve seen made possible by others?
I’m not saying that simpler times means that the “Leave it to Beaver” world exists. God knows, I’ve dealt with my share of dysfunction. It’s what much of my writing is about, but it’s also about overcoming such dysfunction.
I long for simple times like these:
A grandson adhering the advice of Grandpa.
When accomplishing something felt good, even if someone else lost. We were taught to be good sports. Someone else’s achievement was held up for us to aspire to reach. We learned it was possible for all of us if we put our hearts and minds into it.
Those of us who had less made the best of things. We gathered with family and friends in unfinished basements, to have the space to celebrate special occasions. If someone else was rich, the word “fairness” didn’t cross our minds. We weren’t angry and didn’t feel sorry for ourselves. Those with wealth gave us possible goals to reach, and we were grateful for what we did have. It seems like gratitude is a thing of the past too.
We found ordinary, inexpensive ways to have a family night with entertainment.
We hung out and laughed with friends over a malt.
I am a person who needs balance (I am a Libra after all). The pendulum is flying way to far to the other side for me to feel comfortable these days. I know there is a way to evolve into a more educated society without giving up our values and keep life simple.
This is the longest post I’ve ever written, so I will step down off my soapbox now, and go back to keeping them under 5oo words (most of the time).
The goal of life: simple, but not empty. ~Terri Guillemets