Saturday, December 3, 2016

Before Then

I know a few young people that seem very disappointed with the speed of change.  Aside from the recent election, they feel as if nothing changes at all, or if it does it's at a snail's pace.  It often seems that way, but social change does happen, and it's very subtle, if not sneaky.
In mulling over some short story ideas, I've been thinking lately about all the things my parents never did, saw, used, or experienced.  Since I'm a classic Baby Boomer, it's safe to say that what I'm about to elaborate on considers about the last 70 years.

This thought started when recalling a memory from the 9 year old days of my life.  On my first trip to Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, my family went with my aunt and uncle.  This was Disneyland's first decade and some of the things it's known for weren't even in existence then.
I was sitting next to my Aunt Dorothy on the seat of a horse drawn streetcar that went up Main St, and it occurred to me that my Aunt was alive before automobiles were commonplace.  She was born around 1910.  Suddenly the entire scope of her lifetime up to that moment in time had included everything from horse drawn vehicles to L.A. freeways...primitive airplanes to jet travel...silent films to color TV.
With that in mind, it occurred to me that my folks, of that same generation, had never done or seen a number of things commonly done today.  Both my parents were gone by 1976 which means that they had never:
                 used a computer
                written a text or an email
                used a remote, or seen color TV in their home
                Used a push button phone or a cell phone
                bought organic food in their local grocery store
                played a cassette tape a CD, or a DVD
                Seen cable TV in their home
                Purchased anything online
                Shipped anything by FedEx

....More to come

So, these are just technological changes, what about social change?  Has social justice come in ways as revolutionary as the electronic devices we covet?  Is there a relationship between the two?  That's the next step in determining just how much change surrounds us even though it seems we aren't making progress with our own interactions.

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