Not Everything Old is Bad

This post may sound like one for middle aged to elderly readers, if they manage to use a computer and access the internet. Actually, it’s for the young, who are now wanting to look hip amongst their peers and trying to ignore the advice of their elders.
Having been young myself, I look back and remember how I used to have the idea that “old people” like my parents, grand-parents etc. could not understand the way we thought or acted according to our times and the ideas then. I grew up in the 1960s to late 70s and 80s. It was the time of the Anti-War protests, Womens’ Lib, mini skirts and baby doll fashion, flower children, free love, Anti-nuclear protests, and “peace, man, peace”. Not forgetting, bell-bottom Levis jeans. 

The most wonderful thing about that time was the pop music. “Pop” means popular as in peoples music. We had ‘wild’ parties just like teenagers nowadays with blaring heavy metal music – Deep Purple, Uriah Heap, Black Sabbath etc. and of course, singsong sessions. Men had long hair like Marc Bolan of T-Rex, and we thought the world was ours. 

What we didn’t think of was, that our parents and grand-parents had also gone through the same phase in their lives and knew about ‘wild parties’, possibly drugs and ‘free love’. Yet, in their time society often frowned on freedom and labelled non-conformism immoral. We were very influenced by western culture then, as youth are today. Still, their fears of our going astray, were to some extent justified. Perhaps, they did not want us to repeat their errors. But, the human condition remains unchanged.

The 1960s and 70s, particularly, seemed to be a time of revolution, non-conformism was the in thing. A breakaway from the old world culture. It was a time when people decided to be individualistic, but in some ways unselfish. There were the hippy communes. The music reflected many good values but explored areas of uncertainty, like inhumanity and oppression, it was really quite philosophical. It spoke about the lack of social justice and suffering of people, of increasing materialism, countered by environmentalist singers like John Denver, social singers like Bob Dylan, Don McClean, Bob Marley, Simon and Garfunkel and many more who questioned establishment. It was a time of questioning. 

R&B and Jazz also caught on, and Asia saw its own rise in the pop world. I remember well the popular Filipino singer, Freddie Aguila’s hit – “Child”. It was in English and Tagalog, and would bring tears to many eyes. Freddie Aguila was like the Bob Marley of Asia, having a slum background and weaving personal experiences and life around him into his music. There was the birth of “Asia Beat” and at 19, attended a gig in a local university on the invitation of friends who were students there.

It was at this time that protest songs like, “We will Overcome”, “Blowing in the Wind”, “American Pie”, etc. achieved popularity. It became an era of protests. A time to challenge authoritarian establishment and ancient codes of morality. A peoples’ cry for peace in the world, whilst governments waged a Cold War and interfered in other countries civil conflicts.

Sadly, the new morality that followed from the mid – 1980s and later, seems to have taken an opposite path where materialism became the order of the day, probably turning into super-materialism as it is today with wealth, elitism, hedonism and image, dictating the suppression of humane and community values. Individualism has turned to something more ugly, expressed in greed, gluttony, domination, and avarice, overriding consideration, civil consciousness and courtesy. The world seems to have come full circle, but hope still exists. The wheel has not reached it’s starting point yet.

The irony of our current times is, that there may be another reversion to those good old days of noble values which have existed since time immemorial. The values of humanity, as old as the mountains, that some youth today are starting to pick up and re-examine. A push towards the protection of our human dignity. 

Climate change is another omen of a changing world order, what will the world be like, if human kind survives that? People have to think of the future, and present day youth must take on the responsibility of knowing that the necessities for survival are found in giving rather than receiving only. They will have to sift through history to help human kind survive the upheaval of climate change, propelling a changing world order. The best of the old values may yet save the human race.

To those reading this ‘soap box speech’ detecting the many inaccuracies in it, I give my sincere apologies, for a flagging memory. 

Author: jasminetea2

A free lance writer interested in people and ways of living. An adventurer in reality and explorer of fiction. A solitary animal by nature.

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