Later Life Ramblings

Shirley Lower writes about issues important to seniors in Sooke

Shirley Lowe

History has a huge effect on our lives.  The teachings and examples we follow are a culmination of the models of each generation.  The Victorian Age from 1837 to 1901 was a huge influence on our grandparents and parents. History recalls it was an age that began with entitlement. The upper class did not work. Income came from inherited land and investment. Class distinction was rampant. It was highly moralistic, the language straitlaced with Victorian morality.

Fifteen million immigrants left the United Kingdom for the U.S.A, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The adventurous became our ancestors who struggled to make a living, follow the laws, rules and religions they brought with them.  For many the only book for guidance was the bible.  It was many years later when there was enough prosperity to finally question the rigid rules for living. Many rules went against human desires, normal behavior and the right to be an individual.

In the 1950’s we were still trying to follow the model but much of reality was suppressed and denied. People were still trying to “keep a stiff upper lip.” Magazines were printing articles with suggestions on child rearing, health, marriage and individuality. Self-help books started to surface. It was becoming a more relaxed way of life. Censorship was still keeping us innocent and married people had twin beds in the movies.

There was a drastic shift in the 60’s when youth rebelled and openly exchanged the model to free thinking and free love. They seemed to turn against the establishment and for a while made their own rules. It was written that: “in the 60’s people took acid to make the world weird – now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.”

Each era creates a different confusion and stress as we try to figure out what is best. The pendulum swings from one extreme to another. Dare we hope that one day there will be “a happy medium.”                                                                                                               Soren Kierkegaard 20th Century philosopher wrote: “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” You live, you learn and you upgrade.

Shirley Lowe

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