Those of us “of a certain age” are often accused of remembering the past through rose coloured spectacles.
But do we?
With the modern world rapidly going down the toilet, am I right in thinking that times past used to be so much better?
When you compare the Ireland of today with the Ireland of fifty or sixty years ago, there are massive differences, but are they really so beneficial?
If I could transport myself back to those days, what would I really miss? I suppose I would miss the Interweb as it hadn’t been invented yet, and the same goes for computers. There again, because they hadn’t been invented, they weren’t missed. A consequence of having no Interweb would mean I would have to go out to do my shopping, which again tended to be a more pleasant experience. No supermarkets or self service meant a more personal touch.
Back in those days, the Nanny State also hadn’t been invented. There were no signs anywhere telling you what you had to do, or what you weren’t allowed to do. We were treated like responsible people who could look after ourselves and if we injured ourselves, that was just our tough shit. We would take the consequences on the chin. There was no concept of litigation as we took responsibility for our own actions.
As a kid, I used to cycle into Dublin city centre regularly. Traffic was a lot lighter then and crime wasn’t such a problem so the idea of a ten year old cycling into the city centre and wandering around wasn’t at all remarkable. I doubt there is a parent in the country now who would happily let their offspring have such an adventure? Also in those days, children remained children well into their teens. There was none of this crap about make-up parties for girls before they had even reached their teens or boys pretending to be men before their voices broke.
One of the great things that has disappeared over the decades is respect. In those days there was respect for your elders and for authority. Any kind of cheek usually meant a swift clip around the ear, and there was no busybody standing on the sidelines screaming about child abuse .
Politics was different then. It was a quiet affair, and we rarely heard about it. Politicians were in the main, respectable honest men. There was little evidence of backhanders or corruption in those days.
Probably the one really bad thing then was the Catholic Church and the nefarious deeds done behind closed doors. But the majority were not aware of this, and the rest lived in fear of the religious so, for the times, it was understandable that nothing was done about it. You would have had to have lived in those times to understand the mindset that existed then.
On the whole though, times may have been rougher, and we may have had to cope without mobile phones, but I still maintain they were better times.
Or am I wearing rose tinted glasses?