Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday question

I am on my way to a meeting in Georgia. So today I am going to post a question for you to comment on.

Do you think that things are better or worse in society than they were 20 years ago?

For me, I see more deterioration in society today than 20 years ago. There is less emphasis on quality education, more emphasis on greed, a break down in the family unit, and population growth that is out of control.

On the positive side, there have been major technological, scientific, and medical advances. Increased communication has decreased isolation. Acceptance of different ethnic and religious groups has increased from 20 years ago. But this is the one area that I equivocate about.

So there you go. Let me have your thoughts.


  1. Just about the time I think things are worse than ever, I reflect on history and come to the conclusion that the world/humanity has always been in terrible trouble yet good things have happened despite that.

    I believe my parents thought the society of my generation was going to hell in a hand basket. I sometimes believe the same about my children's generation.

    There is always as you point out the negative and the positive. I tend to think things balance out in different ways no matter what generation I'm looking at.


  2. Better or worse is such a subjective and relative term. truly impossible to quantify.

    So many times I hear people talk about the "good old days". For whom?

    I was born in 1955. So if I said the good old days it would probably be back then and into the '60's. Yep for a white male kid growing up in the suburbs. It was the good old days. But what if you were black in the inner city without civil rights, job opportunities not available because of your color. Or a woman trapped in an abusive marriage, no shelters for help, your have to "prove" the abuse because there is no "no fault" divorce. Your potential job opportunities were teacher, nurse, secretary, housekeeper or maid. What if you were a male teenager, poor or middle class, Uncle Sam says we want you NOW. Off to Viet Nam you go no matter if you had plans for your life. If your white and got money you hide out in college and live on deferrments, look at our politicians. That was good old days for them. What about the kid diagnosed with polio in the '50's. But 20 years later no one feared polio.

    Better or worse is SO subjective. I'd say different is what it is today vs. 20 years ago. Can we look back with fond memories of 20 years ago, yes. Can we see the horrors of today easily, of course.

    My point better or worse is an individual assessment. For every better you can find there are people gald to be away from the horror of 20 years ago. I'd say different, we as a society advance but we also uncover unknown and impossible to see problems. We work through them and advance some more.

    So I guess you have to decide for yourself, how was YOUR life 20 years ago. Better or Worse?

  3. Lordy me, Syd - - - so glad I checked with Webster after seeing the word intellectualizing - - - I try to NOT do this - - - which includes my daily life of acceptance - not approval mind you - but accepting the things I am unable to control. I try to encourage those who have experience in the fields you have described to plow into the meat of the matter and come of with possible solutions.

    And, for the life of me, I sometimes figure these things out for myself. Do others' always agree with me? Of course not - - - that's human nature. And, this is where my gratitude for the Al-Anon program of recovery kicks in. I am grateful for my ignorance as well as grateful for what intellect in my own psyche I am able to accept. I firmly believe this is why my HP has created such a diversity of creatures - including the humanoid - to provide the knowledge which brings wonderment. I prefer not to dwell on sad/bad/confusing things. I go 'inside' my being and find all the joy I need there for this day only.

    Much love,
    Anonymous #1

  4. I want to say worse where family and healthcare are concerned. But better where technology and medical advances come into play.

    I guess like everything else you take the good with the bad.

  5. I think it works both ways. Some things are better, some things are worse.
    But each of us sees the same things differently, so many of society's ills are of our own perspective.

  6. Answer: In society, things are better and worse than they were 20 years ago.

    I think that's the truth ;-).

    Throughout recorded history, every generation has felt that the next generation is "going to the dogs."

    I hope God's in charge. It's really my only hope. Really.

    Blessings and aloha...

  7. I'm already wrong because I have an immediate opinion. All my opinions are nothing without positive God centered action. I am but a player not a judge.

    I don't even believe that medical, technological, or scientific advances are necessarily for the better because after all there is a whole societal norm of ease and comfort without thought to foundational affect for future generations out there (myself included in that ease and comfort junkie status) We demand immediacy and ease in fix for every ailment, disorder, disability, or hardship. To think in spiritual terms to find the solution for our ailments or issues, though when I do it always comes with better results.

    I say that after having tried to solve my problems with medicine, surgery, self-help books, group therapy, after trying to solve it with food, relationships, medicine, drinking, suicide and just plain sitting at home isolating with tv and computer as my only means of relation to the outside world, not healthy, not right, not sane.

    God can and will when sought. I have to believe the world is exactly as it should be, and it's my perspective that is off. Moving in self-centered perspective just puts me and anything I do further off course, guess that's why its more important than ever to seek Gods will in everything for me.

    At least that's the theory I'm workin' on.

  8. There is much less responsibility taken now I think in society. Get a payment for tripping up on a pavement, instead of watching where you are going. Children seem less respectful now and why should they be respectful when there are no consequences. The criminal is king and the victim is to blame. I don't know if things are better or worse. I know that if I am walking down a street at night and there is a group of youths stood together, I am wary and give them a wide berth. I never used to do that. I know that I dont trust politicians, the police, the church. Money seems to be king, so old people are left to die alone because people are just working now and care is not a vocation. yet we have more free time, more access to things which are good. More culture to enjoy. More stuff to buy. Less people to talk to. I don't know Syd. Its a good questions. Financially are we better off. yes of course, at all levels of society. Morally as a society are we better off, Im not so sure.

  9. I don't remember the open hateful political comments and lies years ago. Maybe it was like this back then but now with everything on video we are forced to see more. I don't care for the corporations having so much power. It looks like education is not giving children an education like we used to get. But in order to keep up with the technology, it no longer matters if people can spell or write. As long as they can communicate on their computers or text on their cells.
    I know I am leaning toward believing it was better 20 years ago but there are so many things that are better now.

  10. I'm with "Dad and Mom" on this one. It's impossible to quantify.

  11. I believe that human nature is the same as it has always been. It may be more socially acceptable to display some of the behavior which used to be concealed, but I don't think people have changed any.
    Just as "Every generation blames the one before..." so do we tend, as we age, to become convinced that we weren't like the youngsters of today, we were more of this, and less of that. I believe this is the natural progression.

  12. I honestly think that it is better and worse. I'm an optimist by nature so I tend to look for the positive side of things, or make them up if they don't exist :-D I am glad I am not a teen facing today's challenges. I would be a tattooed, pierced, goth geek. No doubt. But then I am 47 and tattooed, pierced, black is my favorite color and I am a geek. Go figure.


  13. I'm ambivalent about how things have changed... But on a lighter note, my husband's family has compiled a predictions list for 2026. One of my predictions: Pets will be size-able. We will be able to have 20 lb. elephants as pets.

  14. Just on a personal level, I think the amount of youth feeling a sense of entitlement, greed and selfishness has been a huge difference/hinderance in the past 20 years. I also think that even though the technology advances have a wonderful place in society, I actually think it cuts down on true communication. People text each other or email, etc., but no so much sitting down and having conversations much. I think the Country has taken a bit of a backstep in the past 20 years and the division of Americans is sad to watch. I realize there has always been some of that, it just seems much more intense now. But who knows, often many of us look back with fondness, others don't so it is pretty subjective.

  15. Absolutely worse as far as how people treat one another and themselves.

  16. 20 years ago...Well as I travel through life society seem to be better from my perspective. I sense more of a community and willingness to again look at issues. My attitude could have something to do with Alanon's influence.

    Health care is in horrible shape there used to be more free clinics for those in need. Education is expensive.
    But I keep showing up and trying to be true to myself and work a program around my disappointments.
    But i do believe the more we work on ourselves this can change society. Look at what Mahtma Ghadi did in India with non violence.

  17. My society has moved beyond apartheid but we have numerous problems to do with globalization, drug cartels, endemic poverty and Aids. South Africa is a rape culture and xenophobic in many ways -- but there are such hopefulness and goodness amongst people, such vitality and political involvement.

    I find it interesting how you define the problems you face -- many of the problems faced by the uS will affect us all. The problems of 20 years ago seem to have led to many difficulties today but there is a better understanding of multiculturalism, less prejudice, more openess to diversity. From where I stand in the Third World, you face terrifying international conflicts with escalating wars of occupation that may not end in my or your lifetime, political apathy or disillusionment, a crisis looming around the ending of fossil fuels and peak oil, ecological dangers we all face. It is gloomy but there will be unexpected if imperfect solutions for both our societies.

  18. how does increased communication help if families no longer speak to one another.

    how do medical advances help if the average person cannot afford them.

    how can there be more acceptance of ethnic/religious groups, if there is still xenophobia and religious wars being fought.

    but be that as it may, 'better off' is a relative term. i cannot comment on a time i didn't live in...

  19. Gosh, there is alot of ground that could be covered.

    I agree that the family unit is "under the gun" big time.

    And as I am dealing with kids on daily basis in one way or another, I find that they lack social skills, face to face social skills. I find that kids use texting almost too much, to where they don't learn how to talk to people and the very technology that is "connecting us" is starting to isolate us. So, I think that is a double edged sword.

  20. I am a nature lover and birder. In these areas, for sure, things are far worse. It shouldn't be that in a 20 year period, there has been such an epic loss of bird life and such drastic changes in migration times, etc. It breaks my heart. I belong to a bird migration group that has helped to get our city to shut the lights off during migration, but even though, we still pick up hundreds of injured and dead migratory birds on the streets every year. I suppose the good thing is that people are waking up to the devastation of habitat loss and city lights for migratory birds, but the question always is.... will we do what must be done IN TIME? That is the case for so many of our world's problems. I think awareness has grown significantly over the past 20 years.... But action. Will we act?

  21. I look at my daughter in grad school and she is more worldly than I was, but the basic values of decency, morality, and faith never change.

  22. I was born in 1933 and remember the optimism of the post WWII years. It started out OK but somewhere along the line it turned into the "Age of Entitlement" that we are paying for now.

    I have no idea how I would be able to get along if Medicare had not been voted in. It was terribly controversial then but just think how your parents, etc. have benefited from it.Now Obama has the guts to do something about our Health Care system and he is being politicized to death. My own personal feeling is that there are very few gutsy politicians...the ones who have the bravado to buck the tide and at least start the road to recovering from the big drug and Insurance companies ruling us. It's a tough battle but crucial to keeping the middle class alive.

    Technology is allowing us to get to know our "neighbors" in other countries and I think that is very positive. We fear what we don't know and I love the fact that we are getting to know many different ways to live besides our own. I love getting comments on my blog from people all over the world... one lady in Malaysia has even started emailing me...and, although she is Muslim, we are not that different from each other.

  23. I have discovered through Jane Austen that society really doesn't change that much... manners may change... what is considered acceptable to say or do may change. But the motivations of people really have never changed. Technology has changed how many of us do things, but it hasn't changed why. And it hasn't changed our range of emotions. There has always been despair in the world, and there has always been hope.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.