Friday, September 4, 2015

100 Years Ago

One hundred years ago, people didn't care how many twitter followers they had. They cared about whether or not their crops would survive the season until harvests. They cared that their livestock would bear offspring and see the other side of winter. They cared about surviving childbirth and keeping all their teeth.

One hundred years ago, children weren't raised as the center of the universe. They were birthed out of necessity, and often out of love. More children meant more sons to work the fields, more daughters to keep the house. Children grew up and followed the footsteps of their fathers and mothers. They weren't lost in a sea of choices and opportunity, but were anchored by hard work and simple goals.

One hundred years ago, women could not vote, homosexuality was still a crime, and the Civil Rights Act did not exist. Some things haven't changed. Others have taken on a new shape or face. We've seen progress, but we have the same problems. Women are still not equal, homosexuals are still persecuted, racism still very much exists. We're still at war, but with different countries, with different peoples, and with different social issues. People will always pick sides. We will always have opinions. We will always disagree. With transition, there will always be new problems. Every change starts a ripple of disorder, which in turn creates fresh waves of controversy. We have to amend laws and design a new order. 

One hundred years ago, living was just what happened between life and death. It was growing, eating, sleeping, working, marrying, birthing, care-taking, dying. The expectations weren't high. Life didn't owe us success, wealth, or fame. People got by on the least possible instead of in luxury. The stakes were survival. We were lucky, not entitled, to be alive.

We've come so far, we've learned so much. Breakthroughs in science, medicine, technology, commerce, connectivity. And now a generation is starting to move backward. Turn around and look to our grandparents and great grandparents. Look to history, handmade and homegrown. Question the wise and learn from the old ways. We're building a new dream on old ideals.


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