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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ideas and economies change, but people never do

I hear people say a lot how nice it would be to return to the good ole' days.  Or they say how young kids lack virtues these days.  Yet did you know that these are things people have been saying since the beginning of time?

It's true.  In fact, Plato wrote something similar to the above quotes, and he lived before Jesus walked the earth.  "Not many people are these days," my patient said regarding a discussion on principles and values and virtues.  "Not many people are these days."

Ideas are different, and the things we entertain with are different, and our economy is different, and our wisdom and view of the world is different, yet people are still the same.  People will always be people.

"The divorce rate is higher than it ever has been," another patient said.  Yet that's not true either.  The divorce rate has always fluctuated through time.  Men and women always had affairs, and they have been known through time to get divorced.  It's nothing new. 

People don't change.  What changes are the times.  Economies are better, governments protect our natural rights better, we have more leisure time, and more time and money to enjoy the pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. 

People have always been reluctant to eat breakfast.  People have always eaten too much.  In fact, women in the 18th century and before were expected to be overweight.  It was normal.  It was a symbol of status.  It was a sign that you were wealthy.  It was a sign you had enough money to buy food.

Things go in cycles.  "Kids just don't have the respect for their parents these days."  That was first said thousands of years ago.  People never change.  We are people. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Studies of twins have shown that there is a large component of our behavior that is genetic or at least genetically influenced (IQ, divorce, the propensity to marry, marital quality, social support, alcoholism, being overweight) while there is also a large compenent that is environmental (parental discipline, warmth, religion, politics, language).

While the genetic component does not change over periods of hundreds of years of time, the environment component will. Societies evolve over time, and with societal evolution you see slight behavioral changes in people brought on by changes in the media (print, radio, television, internet), school/work (science, industrialism, women working), transportation (american railway system, Eisenhower's highway system, jet airlines), democracy, socialism, equal-rights (women's suffrage, slavery), wars, and so on...