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A message from the past

lessons for the future

By Peter RosePublished 12 months ago 5 min read

A message from the past

I am over 81years old, and I would like to try and explain, to the risk adverse people of today, why my generation find it hard to accept their attitudes. This is how it was when I was 18 years old. Pain and even hunger were facts of life, we accepted them as normal, everyone did, rich and poor.

When I was 18 the mind-set, a term not invented at that time, was best illustrated by the way I and many others rode motorcycles. We tried to ride round a corner as fast as possible, if get it wrong and if you lived- some did not- you were patched up in hospital and the bike in the repair shop. Once reunited you tried again, this time doing it better, that was the attitude to everything. We did not think of someone to sue, we did not blame the road, or the bike, or the weather, or anything else, all was personal responsibility.

I have partial deafness, some of which is due to a road accident (which strangely enough occurred while I was on foot) but I keep in a reasonable level of fitness with daily yoga and exercise, which includes 20 consecutive press ups. I am responsible for my own health, yes, I use the NHS and it has probably saved my life, but I do not seek to blame anyone else for any problems. As Joanna Lumley is quoted as saying :-

“We’ve got to try to get the young to understand that it’s a tough old world,” she told i News.

“It’s lovely, but it’s tough. You’ve got to be ready, resilient, brave… and humble. You’ve got to understand that the world can do very well without you. Without any of us!”

The actress, 76, also said people were “brave” when she was a young adult in the ’60s as there was “more determination... to just get through”.

“We hung on in there, took some very humble jobs. It was an important part of the journey,” she explained.

“Things weren’t any easier then, but we did have a sense that you could have a crack at anything, whereas now we seem to put people into boxes very early on.”------

She is absolutely right, putting yourself in an invisible box by over specialisation in education, may result in a university degree but the “field of opportunity” has been narrowed. In an ever-changing economic world, people need to have a broad base of knowledge and ability. We were taught to reduce every problem to first principles and then build up answers from there. Never consider that, since you have not been told about, for example, politics, that you cannot understand them. Never say that because you were never taught how to cook, that you cannot become a good cook. The inventors that have revolutionised life, were practical people, they usually both designed and built prototypes. They used intuition, knowledge, and practical physical skills, all combined. At the hight of British manufacturing importance, the bosses and owners of factories were practical engineers. Even when they employed thousands, they knew what each process was, they could do any job in the factory themselves. Then, as these founding people died out, the money people took over management. They had qualifications in accountancy and financial manipulation but had no idea how to set up an assembly line. WE need to reassert practicality back into the education of the next generations. We need people who understand both the firms accounts and how to actually make a robot, people who also know the difference between a drill and a saw. WE need people who understand both the banking system and the chemistry of polymers who also can use a screwdriver and a spanner. WE need people who have both a working knowledge of quantum physics and how international finance operates and can also put together a flat pack chest of draws.

Life can be very hard and demanding, filled with pain and seemingly unsurmountable problems but do not give up. Do not hide behind “your rights” instead seek out “your duty” seek out possible solutions. Seek out ways to change things without harming others in the process. In this lies one of the hardest knots to untie. Causing change without hurting others, even in our family and domestic situations this is still a big dilemma. A common caveat is “except where they are causing you and others pain.” But take care if you are going to harm someone because you think they are hurting you. Take great care that it is not a case of them disagreeing with you, or simply preventing you from imposing your beliefs on them. Just because someone will not give up their gas guzzling car does not mean they are deliberately hurting you. They have beliefs and rights, just as you do.

It is so easy, to be convinced of your right to save society from itself, it is so easy to consider that you are saving the world from the others on it; that you seek to impose, to coerce, to force, others to agree with you and seek the same solutions as you. This is a dangerous, moral slippery slope, and it only goes downhill. Just as you claim the right to demand change, others have that equal right to resist change. Evolution will always be better than revolution. It achieves the same ends without destroying either moral integrity or physical life.

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About the Creator

Peter Rose

Collections of "my" vocal essays with additions, are available as printed books ASIN 197680615 and 1980878536 also some fictional works and some e books available at Amazon;-



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