I'm 63. In my lifetime I have met people who were born as far back as 1850 when I was a small child. My grandparents were all born during the 1880s. My parents were born in 1916 and 1919, Dad and Mom respectively. I was born in 1948. The points of view of everyone I met as a child likely would not be believable to most teenagers and young adults today.
This was the biggest difference then from today. If you had too different a point of view almost anywhere in the U.S. but especially in the South or out in the country it was normal to just disappear suddenly and no one would ever hear from you again. This changed dramatically starting during the 1960s for a variety of reasons and people began to be more accepting of people who were different or from other countries, especially places like Coastal California (San Diego to Santa Barbara all the way up past San Francisco. And then in the 1970s and 1980s this also became true northwards into Ashland, Portland in Oregon and Seattle in Washington. And a similar thing happened on the east coast starting in places like Boston, New York City and Washington D.C. and spread all around the country. I think the main reason for this is it is more common for more foreigners (at least in the 1960s and 1970s) to remain on the coasts of the U.S. more where more people traveled to Europe and the middle east and on the west coast where people traveled more to Hawaii, all the Pacific Islands and Asia and Australia.
One of the things I was trying to illustrate is just how different in psychology and actions people are now from the people I knew growing up and especially from the ones my parents knew growing up. My parents never went to college even though my father should have. He blamed his father for this because his father sent his two sisters to college to meet their husbands which one of them did. So, though my father chartered a yacht and went with his first wife and brother to Tahiti and the Tuomoto Achipeligo for 2 years after that he was sort of afraid to travel anywhere else abroad. And he was quite adventurous for most Americans during this time because most people then in 1939 were not chartering yachts with their wives and brothers and sailing off to Tahiti for 2 years.
I would like to illustrate just how different some people were in the 1940s than now. My Grandfather's father was a captain in the northern Army during the Civil War out of Kansas. So, my grandfather was born on his father's farm in Kansas and his father started a Drug Store whose remedies were mostly gathered by local Native American Tribes. So, he ran his Drug Store from the 1870s until 1925 when he sold it and retired. My Grandfather loved Electricity and science and building and his hero was Nicola Tesla who invented Alternating Current and the fluorescent light bulb. So, he became a very successful Electrical Contractor with his family throughout the western states, especially Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon and Seattle, Washington where he bought his 2 1/2 acres and raised his family from the late 1920s. By the early 1940s they were all grown up (all five of them).
However, when my Grandad retired during the 1940s he raised a Victory Garden in Wenachee, Washington. However, when he went to get his gas coupons to buy gasoline since it was rationed during World War II he was told the growing season had already ended. He simply walked out and got his double barreled shotgun out of his panel truck (Van) and went back in and laid it on the table and asked for his Gas coupons again. The gun wasn't loaded but they gave him his gas coupons. They did not call for the police because he was within his rights for that time as long as he didn't threaten anyone. Also, there were many cowboy type people who acted like this so it was acceptable for those times. But, today he likely would be shot or go to jail for this. This just shows how very different the times were then.
Another illustration of just how different things were when I grew up from now is that when I was 2 or 3 years of age I was allowed to stand on the back seat of my father's car while he drove. I would hold my father's seat back and pretend I was driving the car. Sometimes if he went around the corner too fast I might fall and hit my head on a doorknob but I wouldn't cry because I was expected to be a man while I was with my Dad even at 2 or 3 years of age. Back then you were considered grown up at birth to some degree. You were expected not to cry most of the time unless something was just so painful you couldn't deal with it at all. Then everyone came running to save you. But for minor scrapes and bruises while I was with my Dad I was expected never to cry. Children were not infantilized back then like they are now. I think somewhere after the whole Dr. Spock Craze (his baby books were all the rage during the 1950s) people starting treating children sort of like pampered French poodles which has caused all sorts of problems ever since because people are people at any age and not infantalized pets even when little.
Another story that illustrates how different things were even when I grew up was: I wanted to ride a horse so my father rented me a horse when I was 8 and slapped the horses butt to make him gallop. However, this was th first time I was ever on a horse. This was just how things were done in my Dad's family. I was just expected to be okay like a young man, and I was. I learned to ride the first time I was ever on a horse by galloping away with my cowboy hat on. (Which was really great until the horse turned around after about a mile or two and galloped back towards the barn at full speed almost scraping me off on every object nearby like fences. But still I was treated like a young man and I survived my adventure. My dad wasn't on a horse, I didn't have a guide, I was out miles from my Dad and anyone else on a rented horse the first time I ever rode a horse at age 8. This was just how things were done. Things were much different than now.
However, there have been quantum jumps in consciousness on multiple levels. But are things better or worse than then were before? I would say, "Both" because the ways things are better is equally compensated by how they are actually worse than when I grew up. So, would I rather grow up now or then? If I had my choice I think I would have rather grown up then. Too many things now just make no logical sense at all. At least then you knew where you stood. You don't really know now because there are so many more uncertainties in the world.
This is one reason why I advocate training children to be Entrepreneurs. At least looking at the world through entrepreneurs eyes like someone like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates you are capable of reinventing yourself many times if necessary. I often cringe when people come on television and say things like, "I can't find a job!" If you think like an entrepreneur you will create your own job and hire yourself just like all the pioneers of this country did. Most of the people who survived the colonization of America had to think like entrepreneurs or they would have died like the rest. Maybe it's time to think like that again!
If you take all the changes of just what I am illustrating here and multiply the cultural differences by 100, 1000 or 10,000 or more, this would be somewhat what it would be like in trying to usefully communicate with even our own Grandchildren or our children's children's children's children if they came back in time to visit us through time for whatever the reason. Or, if they came from another planet or dimension trying to have useful conversations would even be more difficult culturally by a factor of 1000s than I illustrated in the above blog article.
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