Not all the good old days were necessarily good times

I sometimes find it amusing how young people (under the age of 50) reflect or bemoan how much things have changed from the “good old days.”

Please, let me put that thought into perspective by saying that the “good old days” for most of these folks is usually only 10, 20 or maybe even 30 years ago.

I know by definition that those past few years are considered history, but from my perspective, recent history did not produce a whole lot of drastic change.

Every once in a while I catch myself thinking about the past, and I sit there remembering and reminiscing about an event I hadn’t thought of in 50 years or more.

There are, of course, those events that I wish I would never think of again but that’s the way life is and we are at this point what our past has created.

Last year, while on a ski trip with the scout troop, I was in Mt. Shasta and thought I would see if the old “Scout Hut” was still up on Washington Drive.

Yep, there it is, well no — as I get closer I realize it’s a different building on the old site. Well, that makes sense considering the “Hut” was old and pretty raggedy when I attended there and that was 60 years ago. Congrats to Troop 97! Nice change!

Recently I was in Redding and while waiting for my wife to do some testing with a doctor I decided to drive over and take a look at the neighborhood I lived in until sometime in 1954.

First of all, the family house was still there and had actually been quite nicely updated. Wow, what a change, but there was so much that had remained the same even to the point of still being familiar so many years later.

For those of us that have lived through the era of operator assisted calls on a five or 10 family party line, listening to the radio in the evening for news and entertainment or actually going to the library to find information on some past event, I truly believe we have a different view of how history has ultimately changed our society.

Consider that many have lived through the Cold War or the Vietnam War. We have watched the country launch men into space and ultimately walk on the moon.

Talk about rocket science, how about computers that took up an entire room to house guiding those space craft being developed into a computer that can fit into your pocket and have 10 times the capacity of those original NASA units, and you can call anywhere in the world on the same device.

What about the strides in medicine? When I was 3 years old, I lost a brother to “complications” from an appendectomy. I watched friends struggle with the debilitating effects of polio.

Flawless appendectomies in this day and age are commonplace and polio has virtually been eliminated from the world stage.

Life expectancies have risen more than eight years just since 1960.

I guess what I’ve come to realize is that progress is inevitable, especially when it comes to technology. I think it is part of humankind’s nature to improve old technology and create new things.

I also believe that “making life better” or at least easier can sometimes be detrimental to our society.

Not wanting to completely bore everybody, I’ll cut to the bottom line.

I have witnessed a lot of good change so far in my lifetime, and at the same time I have seen a lot of negative effects — some due to those same changes.

Obviously not all of the old times were necessarily good times, but there are many social aspects of past societal norms that would be beneficial to current times if we could resurrect some of those old behaviors.

A simple thing like a phone call is better than a text. It’s more personal and less likely to be misunderstood.

How about using technology more for personal learning and understanding and less for sharing other people’s ideas?

I love this idea that I grew up with: “Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you hate them.” Wow, if that were the case I guess, some headshrinker would say every time I disagreed with my grandfather I must have hated him, Wrong!

How about just integrating some old time life skills into our daily lives.

Last year, after I visited the site of my old troop’s hut, I came home and perused some of my memorabilia. In a 1959 edition of a Scout worship booklet I noticed a dog-eared page so I opened it up and read the “Call to Worship” note and in the margin was a note, “A way of life.”

Recently I have listened to some messages at my place of worship that were based on the same verse, and I realized that some things are timeless and can never be improved.

The inspiration is simply this: Act justly, Love mercy and walk humbly.

With Veterans Day just past I remember that I didn’t serve to protect just those I agree with, I served my country and everyone in it, and with Thanksgiving coming up I am truly thankful for all the blessings I have shared here.

Let us embrace the new things that we enjoy, but never forget or discard the things that made us and can continue to make us the most blessed people on earth.