With New Year 2020 now here, it is timely to remember and reminisce about the past. And, as we move into a new decade, it is also fitting to note events that have helped shape our stance and attitude as we move into a new chapter of history.
Another new year.
Upon looking back at the start of this past decade as the world moved from 2009 into 2010, times were strained.
Health-care costs were soaring.
Wages were stagnant.
Overall, there was a wide-spread sense of economic hold-backs. Consumers sensed their own vulnerability.
College students felt the financial impact of gaining a higher education as tuition costs continued to climb.
Prevalent was the growing desire to avoid waste and extravagance.
Then around 2012, a new mantra arrived on the scene.
Many attitudes changed as You Only Live Once (YOLO) became the call. A mindset that sometimes espoused ‘anything goes’ with no apology for inappropriate actions. YOLO was deemed a rather selfish outlook.
Over the course of the last ten years, as in all decades that have gone before, society’s attitudes and demographics change during the ten year span. The pendulum moves gradually, and sometimes so slowly society may not sense the change.
However, in the newspaper business, it is always interesting to view changes via the archives. Past news accounts show how standards of life drastically change over the years. And, many of those changes are for the good.
In late 1890s to early 1900s, political correctness did not exist.
Newspaper articles were written without a filter, and name calling and racial epitaphs now considered inappropriate, were the standard of the time. Today these standards are unacceptable, and rightly so.
In contrast, we have a litigious society today. We didn’t back then.
During those earlier years, mail service was not utilized as it is today.
Mail service was not only limited, but it was unreliable due to weather, impassable areas, bad roads and the ongoing inability to keep the mail hack in operation. Consequently, business owners did not invoice customers like we do today. Instead, they frequently published the names of individuals and the amount owed. Especially those with longstanding unpaid balances. And on occasion, the list of names appeared on the front page. Can you imagine the uproar if we did that today?
However, it would be an interesting way to address past-due account problems.
Divorces were also publicized on the front page of the newspaper and each told why the marriage failed –– adultery, drunkenness, gambling, desertion. And, if adultery was the culprit, the name of the scandalous partner was printed as well.
In addition, the political arena was quite colorful and descriptive back then. Name calling was a standard; falsehoods and unfounded accusations were frequent and widespread.
Not much has changed there.
As we move into 2020 and look to the year ahead, we are likely to create resolutions to do more. Be better. Change. Improve life.
Along this journey, it is important to recognize change. Some are good. Some not. But in the end, we hope for balance and the understanding societal standards rarely stay the same. What is considered acceptable today, will likely be unacceptable in the future.
In past eras, New Year outlooks have been bleak. Others brought a sense of promise and prosperity. During war time, the future represented turmoil, grief, hopelessness.
As the years ebb and flow, each new year brings an opportunity to re-assess and reset. A time to reminisce –– to remember good times, and bad.
The past offers perspective to not only understand societal changes, but grasp and acknowledge personal changes and growth as well.
We look back not to wallow in mistakes, but to realize how blessed we truly are.
History showcases the indomitable American spirit of hope, strength and courage –– and today, as we move into 2020 and the start of another new decade, it seems timely to consider passionately re-embracing that old-fashioned mindset.
What a great resolution and goal for the new year –– the desire for an indomitable spirit filled with hope, strength, courage, and a genuine, sincere zest for life.
That should be our mantra.
Best wishes for a prosperous and blessed New Year!