…our world was a vastly different place. I can only speak for the last fifty years or so ago, but I’ll mention a few “once upon a times” for posterity and to demonstrate that the world we live in today is by no means natural or evolutionary. My opinion only.
Once upon a time everything was “organic”. Every piece of Food we ate was naturally produced and grown as it should be, including meat, fish and poultry. What was on your plate was guaranteed to have been grown or born and bred in Britain. We had no need to import food and very little was wasted. A far cry from the skip loads of processed food we see being transported from the rear of corporate supermarkets these days. People used every part of an animal to provide a meal, not just taking the piece they wanted and throwing the rest away. Ready meals and frozen meals were on the distant horizon but not a part of daily life at the time and food banks didn’t exist in Britain until the present day. Now we are asked to pay a premium for food we once regarded as an everyday part of life. The very fact that this has been introduced demonstrates the fact that something is not just right with the packaged offerings they would have us buy. They would have us believe that consumer demand is high, but in my brief foray into the supermarket world, I found this not to be the case and watched in disgust as food was transported to landfill on a daily basis and people sat at street corners begging for a few pennies to buy something to eat.
Once upon a time education was all about teaching the nuts and bolts of a subject and our knowledge was gleaned from the study of textbooks. We were taught “about” a subject of our choice, and not “towards” a subject which has been deemed appropriate by your 12 year old psychological profile held by the authorities. Schools, in general, were friendly, social places and recognised for what they were, which was a place of study. Children came to my school from far and wide with never a thought for danger. There was no such thing as a school run. Kids from further away would be provided a hearty 3 course lunch in the dining hall, whilst others, who lived nearby, would run home, to quickly scoff whatever goodies Mum had prepared, and get back to school for some free time with friends before afternoon lessons began. Not a single person brought a packed lunch.
It may come as a shock to some, but there were no computers to assist us through our studies. Copy and paste were but a pipe dream. Copy did exist, but if you were caught copying it would lead to painful consequences. Free thought was encouraged. Our thinking wasn’t compartmentalised as it is today, when kids seem to be taught within the confines of a particular box and never encouraged to venture forth and see what lies beyond. Then again, we didn’t have the same distractions as kids do today. We made our own entertainment and that fact alone encouraged stretching of the boundaries of our thought processes. We didn’t have the same pressures as children of today. Constantly trying to keep abreast of the latest technology which is horrendously expensive item for the parents, who are dragged into the minefield of keeping up with the Jones and getting into debt to do so. Constantly being aware of surroundings and who inhabits these surroundings. Sensing danger all the time. These thoughts shouldn’t pervade a young mind but from my own experience, they surely do.
Once upon a time, all the violent people were in prison. That’s baloney actually. But Violence wasn’t part of our lives , except at a local level, and watered down tales from relatives who had survived the war. On Friday and Saturday nights after the pubs closed there were always a few drunken skirmishes as people sorted out their differences of the week. In those days if you were the one that went down then you were the one who was defeated. Nine times out of ten the winner would reach out to offer a helping hand back to your feet. Case closed. There was never any question of “putting the boot in” or tackling someone mob handed. That was all still to come.
When we were young, everyone carried a knife. Not for defensive or aggressive purposes, but because it was part of our daily toolkit. A penknife came in handy for all sorts of things. From sharpening a pencil to cutting a rope that had become snagged somewhere. I don’t think it ever occurred to any of us to use the knife in a threatening manner. If we had , we would have been drummed out of the Boy Scouts or one of the other youth organisations which were popular at the time.
So, the violence which our younger generation are exposed to through the media of television and media games, I personally find appalling. Our kids are becoming acclimatised to all sorts of horrific violence and bloodshed in their own homes in the guise of game play. The shock and fear factors have been removed and therefore minimise how they would feel , were they to witness something similar in reality The ability to watch violence is readily available in cinemas and dvd stores and when the newsreader looks down his nose at you and says, “Some viewers might find this upsetting”, you know you are going to watch it anyway. Just to put this into context, only a generation before, Tom and Jerry cartoons were banned for being too violent and Saturday afternoon wrestling was removed from the tv schedule for the same reason !!
I’ll carry on with some more “once upon a time” stories in my next piece. If anyone has any similar stories or thoughts I would be happy to hear them.
more to come…
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