7 Decades of Change — What I Miss

Part 1 of 7



List of parts of 7 Decades of Change series

We’re approaching (or beginning) another year in the 2020s. I’ll enter my seventh decade on this planet during this decade. When I first thought about writing this, I envisioned a short listicle. I quickly realized that such a broad topic required several longer pieces to do this topic justice.

Each part of this series will have the same header image that lists all seven articles with asterisks indicating which one you are currently reading. Parts two through seven will have only a brief sentence directing them to this first part. The end of each article will have a question for reflection and a link to the next one of the series.

The only constant in life is change. –Heraclites

The accelerating pace of this “constant” leaves my soul breathless and weary. I can’t keep up. Now, in my late 60s, I no longer want to try. Even with the advances that made many things easier and better, many things are worse or much harder. Even with so much that’s utterly amazing, there’s so much that’s utterly distressing. This article kept growing so I decided to publish it in parts, starting with …

When was the last time you called a business and heard a human being say, “How can I help you?” instead of automated instructions to press 1 or 2 or 3, not to mention chatbots on websites.

Remember having to get off the couch to adjust the volume or change the channel on your TV? Now, we have five remotes to operate our entertainment system. They all look alike to me with buttons I need a magnifying glass to read.

The English language got way too complicated! Using pronouns used to make sense, and there were fewer of them. Now, we have a myriad of gender-neutral pronouns.

Would the term “politically correct” have brought to mind a politician doing the “correct thing”? (Maybe they did that 70 years ago). I miss the days when we could say what we think. Others would disagree, and that would be the end of it. We’d still be friends.

I especially miss the days when people knew that facts, not feelings, determine what is real. Even if they couldn’t quote the definition of truth as “that which corresponds to reality”, they recognized it from at least a logical perspective. No one questioned their intuitive sense that objective truth exists, that there’s only one truth. While not liking a particular truth, they recognized its priority over mere opinions.

Imagine falling asleep in 1954 and awakening in 2024. What would excite or shock you? What would astonish or horrify you?

Part 2: What’s better or easier




Married 25 years. Retired SAS programmer from Statistics Canada. Member of Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites since 2008. Love chess..