The Good Old Days Were Not Good

When you were a kid, things were different right? Things were better. Things were less politically correct. There was more freedom. The world was safer. Or maybe you hear your own parents talk about how kids used to be better behaved, how when they were your age, they worked harder and had their act together. 

It’s all nonsense. Memory is a lie. We know this because we have a historical record that contradicts. Here is a quote attributed to Plato and Socrates in the 4th Century BC,

“What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets, inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”

Oops! And that was in the so called golden age of Athens! (In truth, the quote is more of a summary of the view in classic times, but is itself now well over 100 years old.) The point is: The good old days were not that good. They had all the same problems we had today, just with different names and in different forms. Kids have always alarmed their parents, new generations are always inscrutable and vexing to the generations that came before. 

In case, it’s probably more true that things are getting better than getting worse. Our kids are kinder, more fair, smarter, more capable than we were, just as our own parents were and their grandparents were. Mankind is marching forward, and we have been since Plato’s time. 

We should remember that. And relax a little.

P.S. This was originally sent on Oct 15 2019. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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