SOCIETAL CHANGES IN MY LIFETIME
I will be 85 years old in January 1. I thought my readers would be interested in the changes in lifestyles in my lifetime. The changes in the way we live are profound, but in reading this blog you should realize that I am talking essentially of North America.
1. There is a major acceptance of the mixing of races not just in the work-place but in the interactions of people socially. As an example when you see advertisements on T.V. in a family setting, there is often a man and wife of different races obviously married. This is absolutely new and probably no more than 20 years old. Seeing a person other than white was not a common occurrence on T.V. at all.
2. When I was born in 1931 there were no T.V.s, just radio. Radio had the attention of all. I remember tuning in on Sunday night “Lux Presents Hollywood” These were radio plays and was a must for every home. Radio was how we entertained ourselves. We listened to serial programs like the “Green Hornet” “Superman” with Lois lane ” and Batman”. Who can forget the “Jack Benny Hour” with the ever funny Rochester and “Fred Allan”.
3. T.V. came in like a bomb shell and many of the old radio shows began to be shown on T.V. T.V. was expected to end the movie making business but this never happened. Going to the movies remained a past-time of most North Americans. there of course was a problem because some of the people with great voices on radio, just didn’t make it on T.V.
4. Being a virgin at marriage was something that was absolutely necessary, and sex before marriage happened but done very privately. To-day couples go away together before marriage as a matter of course, and nobody pays a great deal of attention.
5. It is impossible to compare the police 50 years ago and now. 50 years ago the police were all white, 6 ft. tall or more, slim and very presentable and of course Anglo-Saxon. To-day they are all sizes and colours and of course there are women police officers.
6. I never would have believed that any religion could entice so many people to kill themselves for their religion. Of course I am mostly talking about Islam. It is unconscionable to see this. I believe the family is paid some sort of regular payments, but still. And to see mothers be so happy that their children have died in a suicide attack is beyond belief for me.
7. The ability to communicate between individuals is a major change in our lives. Telegrams and the telegraph were used a great deal in business and to contact friends socially. they are non-existent to-day. One Sunday I was driving down a major street in Toronto, Yonge St to be specific, and at the corner of Boor and Yonge about 20 people were waiting for a bus. It was Sunday and the subway was not yet open and it appeared to me 18 of these people had a smart phone ( I phone) or its equivalent in their hands talking to somebody. You can use your I phone and in a split section be in touch with somebody in London England
8. There used to be two sexes and that was it. To-day we have male and female and trans-gendered. People can be born male but feel like a female and there are sex changes. Literally unheard of in the past.
9. Marriage was between a man and a woman. Gay marriage is common to-day and is even performed in recognized religious institutions.
10. Sunday was a day of rest and prayer. There were no professional sports , no movies, no retail stores could stay open. The day was completely quiet. It is hard to imagine just how quiet Sunday was.
11. The British Empire does not exist any more. Great Britain which deserved the name “great” is not great and if the U.N. was constructed now would not be in the security council . Canada, Australia, New Zealand India Pakistan etc are now independent nations. England was truly great than, but what has remained unique is the number of people who learn English, really a world language.
12. Our national anthem was “God Save The Queen” and it took a lot of infighting to change to “O Canada”
13. When I graduated in Pharmacy in 1954 all the important drugs were patented. The drugs sold under the generic name had been for sale for many years. I refer to Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), phenobarbital, Seconal (secobarbital) Throid. the big selling drugs were expensive and under patent. It was Pierre Trudeau who passed an act which allowed compulsory licensing of drugs. Without going into the details of the act it allowed smaller generic companies to pay royalties to the brand companies and to sell the drug under the generic name. It changed the whole industry.
14. The number of years that people live at this point in the west and possibly all over the world, has to change the way medicine is practised. In Canada it is impossible to lower the pay for a doctor on a service, as the doctors have too much political power. The politicians will not oppose them. What they can do is change what pharmacist and nurses can do. The pharmacist and nurses to-day have a wider scope of knowledge and can do more for the health of the population and when the cost gets too high the government will be forced to enlarge the scope of practice of the pharmacist and nurse and npt pay the General practitioner for certain services. This change is slowly happening but the doctors fight it, tooth and nail.
15. A new word has entered the English vocabulary and it is “selfie” Everybody below the age of 50 has a mobile phone in their possession at all times whereas in the old days you did not carry a camera with you. That allows you to take an instantaneous picture either of yourself or anybody else within range of yourself, and of course another advantage of this system, is that you do not need to ask another person to take the photo.
16. I cannot believe the appendages which hang from the human body. In my day there were earrings, that’s all. Today there are nose rings , eye-lash rings and body rings in places that one never sees. All this is better than the tattoos which are very difficult to erase
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