Posted by ROB T. from 188.8.131.52 on November 29, 1999 at 22:28:08:
In Reply to: For Rob T concerning the 30's posted by Steve on November 29, 1999 at 08:53:58:
When I mentioned rose-colored glasses I may have misspoken. I didn't mean to rag on the thirties as some bastion of racial intolerance (or imply that we're really doing so much better on that score these days) but I have noticed that all the people I've ever known who grew up in that era look down on inter-racial marriage and seem to be more suspicious of anyone who isn't just like them.
I agree that there was an element of personal responsibility in that time that seems to be lost now and a sense of neighborliness that is long gone. I read somewhere that the reason we are not better acquainted with our neighbors now is because of the invention of air conditioning. In the old days we sat on our porches in the summer and talked with our neighbors and now we stay in our cooler houses.
In the end, yes, I do see some good things about the thirties that are missing in the nineties. But there are plenty of good things about this era also; advances in medicine, a stronger economy, relative world peace (at least compared to WWII), faster communication and exposure to the world around us.
All the things that we lament over losing from the thirties are not really gone. I mean that we don't have to travel back in time to get them back. We can all take responsibility for our own actions whether the rest of the world does or not. We can still practice good manners even if others see them as quaint. If this era moves too fast for us we can consciously slow down our pace. If we want to know our neighbors better we need only make the first move. If we want to feel better connected to our community we can seek out some volunteer work to bring us closer to our hometown and the people we live with.
These acts wouldn't bring back all of the things we've lost but they would make us all feel safer and more a part of a community. We could have the best of both eras if we just made an effort.
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