10/23/12 — Old-fashioned? By blending the best of old and new, we could work wonders

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Old-fashioned? By blending the best of old and new, we could work wonders

Every generation seems to come up with the line that those who have gone before them are "out of touch."

They chastise their elders for their unwillingness to accept not only change, but the advancements that they see as necessities for existence in the modern world. They forget that the technological marvels they cannot live without were not even a glimmer in an inventor's eye only a few decades earlier.

And, they are right, older people are often resistant to change -- and they do have some old-fashioned ideas about how lives should be lived. Consider it a side effect of age -- or, maybe perspective.

But in this age of everything new is old again, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about constants, and standards.

There are few rules anymore and even more people who seem to think that they should be able to behave in whatever manner they choose -- and no one should be able to say anything about it.

We allow behavior that might have been considered less than appropriate in days gone by and call it "progress." We reform manners to suit the new devices rather than think about applying some of those old rules to our new habits, and we have decided that it is OK to show just about anything on television for just about anyone to see.

And we are suffering because of it.

We have a generation of young people who might be connected all over the world, but who have difficulty communicating with someone standing right next to them -- and who think dictionaries are just an antiquated form of spell check and who autocorrect themselves into little knowledge of word usage or grammar.

We have made communication so constant that no one is listening or paying attention anymore.

And let's not even talk about what children can watch on TV or the video games that have made them almost desensitized to the real effects of violence and the consequences of adult choices.

Perhaps we could use a little more "old-fashioned."

Maybe we should not concede that times are changing, but also consider adding a little old-style to "gangnam style."

It would seem that, eventually, there will have to be a concession that sometimes a few more manners, a little less reliance on technology and a little more decorum might be the right choices -- because even a free-to-be-me-and-you world needs some reining in every once in a while.

It might be the key to recovering some of those values and better times we wish we could offer our children for the future.

Or maybe it is just the lament of the old as they wonder just as their predecessors did decades ago -- "what is the world coming to?"

Published in Editorials on October 23, 2012 1:28 PM