Nostalgia is a funny thing, and as we get older it seems to have a stronger appeal. Is it our selective memory, or were things really better back then? It is most certainly directly linked to age! Perhaps it is just to do with perspective. I have been very much enjoying my trips down memory lane during lockdown, reconnecting with friends and places from my youth.
This has got me thinking about my expectations as a youngster and how the world has evolved in comparison. Born in the late fifties, the swinging sixties were my childhood. I was 13 in 1969, so wasn’t involved directly in all that free love stuff, but was influenced by their ideals. I was a teenager when the term itself had only just become recognised and was beginning to generate its own market.
As I was saying to my youngest…
I was having an interesting discussion with my youngest son Jason the other morning along these lines. I was saying how, when I was young, I could see the way things were changing for the better. The world was run by grey old people in suits; a different generation who had come through a world war, and although they were doing their best to make things right for their children, they still seemed to be restricted by the old ways, specifically capitalism. I’m talking about the true definition of the word here, not the colour people vote for in elections.
I genuinely believed that when my generation were in their place it would all be different. I am not, was not brought up as, or ever was a “raving lefty” if that’s how this is sounding, I just thought that we could all have used the best bits of each ideology and found a solution by now. Yet, here we are, still in the same mess… perhaps even more so.
Greedy by nature?
Does it really mean that, deep down inside, we are all greedy? Do we all want to be the best, or have the most? It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? To be the best, build the best, create the best… we’d be nowhere without that, but have the best? Not sure about that one. We all have a competitive streak. We all experience it on a daily basis. We, as a family, play board games, where the aim is to be the best… Monopoly being a prime example! (We keep a record of games played. I once won by accumulating over £21,000… and we had to check the rules to find out what to do when the bank runs out of money. Turns out, it issues IOUs… just like real life!) Video games play on your need to beat that high score, or get to the next level. We collect “things” with a view to having one of them all; cigarette cards, train numbers, action figures, cars, works of art, five pound notes, whatever.
Does anyone need to be a billionaire?
There are over 2000 billionaires in the world. They must be driven by this same obsession. Nobody “needs” a billion Dollars, or Pounds, or Euros. Some are aiming to be the first trillionaire! If you took half of each billionaire’s money, you could give every person on the planet 100 Dollars. OK, so that might not make much difference to you, or indeed the billionaires, but imagine what it would do for someone who is starving. Imagine if we only shared it out among the poor, or used it to build houses for those who have nowhere to live?
I’d like to think that if I had a billion whatevers, I’d use it for the good of my fellow humans, but, would the urge to accumulate said wealth overpower this philanthropy?
Now I know we all want to improve our lives and provide for our children. My parents did it for me and I think I have managed it for mine, but where should we stop? No, actually the question should be, where did we forget to stop? When did we forget not to become the grey old person in the suit? Yes, where do all these grey old people in suits keep coming from?
Where do all these grey old people in suits keep coming from? Discuss.
…Thanks to Hubby for this post…