Krzysztof KowalikNew era vs old era. A concise analysis

Here in this blog, I decided to compare and contrast the new era vs old era because this is the notion which occupies my attention for most of the time and whenever I look at the advancements of new era which I have been destined to utilize and observe I try to probe whether the people in the old era were literally misfortunate for not having them or were they in a way more fortunate or comfortable with the absence of these amenities in their lifetime?.

Lifestyle is a significant aspect of an individual’s life. It varies among different nations, tribes, countries and communities. It has a huge impact on the personality and quality of human life. It not only determines but also reflects an individual psyche and approach towards life.

a)   Difference between our generation and our parents and grandparents generations.

The difference between our new generation and our parents are approximately two decades old. We (youngsters) are the product of the early 21st century. Their fashion, ways of life, celebration, behavioural patterns were far different than ours.

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Then their parent’s generations were almost two or three decades earlier than them. That era (of our grandparents) was far more different. It was an era of simplicity, joint family setup, fewer amenities. But it had its own beauty and splendour.

b)   Progressive movement goals.

  • To attain power
  • To excel in gaining information and knowledge
  • Luxurious commodities of life
  • Newer scientific discoveries
  • Migration to foreign countries in search of a better standard of living.
  • To come out of dogmatic beliefs like superstitions
  • To highlight human rights and protect animal rights as well.
  • Women empowerment
  • Enhancing the quality and functions of the machine
  • Personality grooming
  • The aim to eradicate corruption and poverty.

c)    List of progressive era reforms.

  • In the progressive era, the submissive class of society has somehow strived to gain financial stability by hard work, education and strong determination.
  • The standard of education has been uplifted by the construction of educational institutes.
  • Training institutes /academies in the fields like health, engineering and social sciences have also been established to polish the craft of professionals.
  • Multiple fields are being established for the youth for the purpose of education etc. For example other than medical, engineering and teaching fields, youngsters can also join military, media, (electronic and print), performing arts, fine arts, social work, textile designing, fashion designing, economics, banking, anthropology, psychology, beauty parlours, gym centres, disaster management, technical education etc.
  • Through the advent of computer and smartphones student have easy access to the kind of content they are searching for in their curriculum.
  • There is competition and the environment is challenging.
  • Rehabilitation centres have been constructed to cure patients of drug abuse.
  • Seminars and workshops are being held on national and international levels for the awareness of life problems.
  • Child sexual abuse has been highlighted by the human rights activists and strong protests are being staged against the perpetrators.
  • Violence against women has been slammed by human rights activists.
  • Equal rights for both men and women is the cry of a new era.
  • Feminism

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d)   Failure of the progressive era.

Now the question arises if the conditions are such in the new age, what could be the conditions in the coming generations, the conditions would possibly be worse than that.

So, if we compare the old age with the new, we can assume that the old era lifestyle was much simple yet beautiful. The new era lifestyles are must lavish and luxurious yet mortal and debilitating.

The question arises is the newe lifestyle improving our lives or destroying our lives ?. it’s a complicated question to answer. But I would say that we should adopt the newer lifestyle up to some degree because it is important for survival but along with that some of the old traditions and customs should also be relived. In some aspects of life, we need to be simple. We shouldn’t be too much dependent upon machinery. We should revert in some matters to the old ways of life.

The question that pops up in mind is that has the latest development become a source of psychological comfort along with physical ease ?. The answer is simply no.  psychological well being could only be attained through virtue, connection with GOD, sympathy or mercy for the living beings, through honest living.

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The other question that arises in mind is whether the invention of these latest machines has made people physically strong?. The answer is in the negative.

The latest technologies have made people sluggish and too dependent. If due to some limitation, these machines aren’t available they become restless and irritated and are least willing to do things by hand or without aid.

So, if I infer by saying that we are fortunate to be born in an age which is so fascinating and luxurious, yet we are also facing dangers due to the advent of newer technologies. We should be very cautious in dealing with such benefits and we should use them in the best possible ways. As we cannot overlook its hazards, hence we should control the demerits of the newer age too.

e)    Characteristics of the progressive era.

Now we can come back to our age (20th to 21st century), the new age marked by huge advancement in science and technology. It is an age in which man has overcome so many obstacles in the way of answering complicated questions, in the cure of such deadly diseases, in the exploration of the galaxy, the stars, the planets, the moon, the sun tec. Man has not only proposed theories but proved them too. Man has invented machines not only in factories but in a kitchen too (for cooking, cutting and cleaning).

Man has invented machinery not only for travelling and probing but for communication too in the form of mobile phones, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the list goes on. Now the world is just a click away because just by using a computer we can derive so many things that add to our knowledge. Interior designers decorate homes. Gyms, beauty parlours enhance the personality of its clients. Food could be ordered by phone, eaten in restaurants and that too, much different and processed than the simple food in the older eras.

Now stylish clothes are in vogue. Rich people wear designer costumes which are not affordable for the poor and white-collar people. New educational institutes have been established, some of which are not feasible for common people because the fees and expenditure in these institutes could be afforded only by affluent families. Our showbiz industry is now in much progress because of the invention of newer technology.

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I remember when we were kids, there used to be cameras for taking pictures, now it could easily be done by smartphones, movies could be watched only by VCRs and then CDs and later on DVDs but now movies could be watched on smart phones too. So, the lifestyle has now changed and is changing drastically.

Household chores are performed by maids and cook etc. for the purpose of cleaning, instruments are used.

Electronic and print media have gained great momentum. Students don’t bother to study books in the libraries because just by clicking and by putting their search material on google, they have access to their required content on computers.

f)     Old generation vs new generation technology

Lets retrospect and go in the era where our grandparents and their parents were living their lives. Their childhood, their youth, when they were born and they had no such commodities like television, VCRs, microwave, mobile phones etc. It was a time when even educational institutes were not in vogue.

Matriculation was considered to be the highest level of educational achievement. Their houses were extremely simple and most of the people relied on domesticated animals for the attainment of milk, butter, yoghurt and eggs etc.  the marriages were extremely simple so much so that the groom and bride would not have even seen each other faces before marriage let alone talking (in some cases) and developing understanding between on another.

People used to travel by walking because common people had no access to vehicles. Women used to bring water from wells, make flour by grinding barley. The houses were mostly made up of mud and this mud would produce a soothing smell.

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There were no phones, WhatsApp and Messenger, so people would post letters to their relatives, near and dear ones for the purpose of communication.

Bread and food were cooked with the help of woods and handmade ovens of muds because the gas facility wasn’t introduced and furthermore it wasn’t feasible for poor and needy people. Radio was probably the sole source of electronic media. Hence that era was pervaded by simplicity and self-reliance.

g)   Pros and cons of the progressive era

If we look at the darker side of the picture, we can see the negativity, the ugliness, which have been brought up by the newer aspects of technologies. The hazards are much stronger than the benefits. People are running away from their roots.

The lust of accumulating more and more resources and competition has morally damaged and degraded mankind. The will to attain luxury has made the man selfish and self-centred. Now the aim is not to love people and strive for a better life in the world and in the hereafter but to struggle for power, money and prestige. Now the intentions aren’t to gain the approval of people around us (although there are still certain people who are good at heart and are too willing to work for the benefits of mankind).

Newer studies have shown that devices like microwaves, smart phones are the cause of physical and mental diseases. People are having stress upon their minds in the new age because, in order to attain all these luxurious commodities of life, they are hardly able to take out time for relaxation, for their children, for people around them. Because the desire for such things has made the people materialistic and money minded.

h)   Health issues in the old and new era.

Newer researches have shown that mental diseases like depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and other mental health problems in human beings are increasing at a faster rate in the new era. It is because the demands of the newer age have consumed the better qualities and potentials of mankind.

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Rather than finding comfort in their own surrounding. Human has taken refuge in the artificial and transient aspects of life. There is treachery, malevolence, envy, leg-pulling, hypocrisy, among people who have snatched away peace of mind and tranquillity in life. Corruption, terrorism, inequality, injustice, bribery, insincerity, deception, greed, all these deadly sins and spiritual diseases have darkened the human soul.

All these factors contribute towards a stressful life which ultimately results in a syndrome of diseases like hypertension, diabetes, depression, anxiety.

At the same time, we can also not ignore the health associated problems several years ago. People used to die even of minor ailments and the diseases which were not curable at that time can now be treated easily. Most of the disease that existed during old days (measles, smallpox, chickenpox, tuberculosis, gastroenteritis, pneumonia etc) are very rare nowadays and some of these diseases don’t exist now in the modern world.

There were no vaccines, which could prevent the deadliest diseases. The first antibiotic (penicillin) was invented in the year 1928. One can imagine how infectious would have to be treated then.

To sum up the discussion we should also accept several benefits of the modern age due to which we are living an easy life. One interesting figure in this regard is the length of life. The life expectancy for men and women was 48 and 54 years respectively, just 100 years ago, which is now increased to 31 (men) and 29 (women).

i)      Environmental issues in the old and new era

In the new era, the world has witnessed enormous scientific, industrial and economic developments. Mass production, mass consumption, mass waste and deforestation are the problems of the new era which lead to excessive environmental pollution and health hazards. Several new diseases and health problems surfaced in the new era which has created several problems for mankind.   Global pollution, warming, global and ozone depletion are the terms which were unknown to people of the old era. Obviously, our lifestyle has changed dramatically in the past 50 years.

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In the new era, we are now exposed to a large number of chemicals and unwanted materials which poses a threat to our lives. The irony is that in most of the cases the people are not even aware of these issues. The children and newborn babies are the most affected class due to these issues. The chemicals which have detected by the environmental scientists were unknown to them 100 years ago.

Extensive research needs to be conducted to determine the safety of these chemicals for human and animals’ health. The necessary step should be taken to reduce the production of hazardous materials so as to protect the environment for future generations.

j)     Merits and demerits

If we look at the merits of the lifestyle at that time, we can see that the human shoulders weren’t burdened by the attempt to accumulate wealth and facilities of the new era because people had not even seen the facilities and advanced commodities of a newer age. Furthermore, we hear from our elders that at that age, things weren’t even expensive. Most of the products were available on cheaper and affordable rates. So overall the life was convenient and healthy also because the food people consumed at that time was organic and natural.

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There were hardly any instances of high blood pressure, heart disorders, joint pain, diabetes, depression, suicidal tendencies. These problems were not common due to the simple living and high rate of exertion, the people became immune to so many diseases. There used to be gatherings at homes/houses due to which people used to socialize with each other. There was no communication gap.

We have heard from our ancestors that the people in the old times were much compassionate and loyal as compared to the new era. Children would sleep with their grandmothers at night to hear the old stories and lullaby. There was no generation gap at all.

If we look at the demerits, we see that the demerits were only a few. Education wasn’t much in progress. The absence of gas and electricity created a bit of inconvenience (although life was simple). People couldn’t get awareness about certain aspects of their lives and the world outside their comfort zone. But all in all, it was an age remarkable and lucrative in itself.

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