Social mores have evolved as well, mainly for the better. There is a lot more tolerance, acceptance, and fairer treatment of groups of people that had been left to feel like third-rate citizens, including ethnic minorities, the disabled, women, LGBTQ, and those who suffer from mental illness -- though a lot more remains to be done. We have gone backwards in how we treat immigrants.
Things have also improved when it comes to the rate of killings in America, but mass gun violence is exploding. Suicides have skyrocketed and the opioid epidemic is as bad as the drugs of my youth -- heroin, cocaine and crack. Obesity has ballooned over the past two generations as well. Smoking rates have dropped way down but it remains to be seen if e-cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, gambling, and other vices will fill the void.
I try to flow with the times, but I can’t help but think that my way of life is disappearing. It happened slowly, over years. First tape cassettes got replaced by DVDs and VHS tapes by CD’s. VCRs became part of the cable system as a DVR. That’s fine. But then things changed more dramatically, where old habits are almost not recognizable. We started to completely do away with things, places, and jobs – all replaced by technology’s advances.
I can’t fault the new generation’s way of life nor can I fully make the case that my version of the world, circa 1978, was ideal. But can’t we slow down the march towards taking every aspect of life and turning it upside down?
I take no joy in knowing that today’s kid will write the same blog post as this one – not 40 years from now – but perhaps only 20 years later. Things are changing at a faster pace and with more upheaval than ever before.
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