Do I just know the wrong people or have things changed this much?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Today on Facebook my cousin's daughter wrote a tribute to her Grandpa who died 25 years ago today. It made me think. When I was growing up in the 1950s, her grandpa and my dad and a few other men I knew were the "good guys." I don't think I know anybody like them now.

    They had all been fought in WW II. They worked hard, took care of their families, and participated in their communities. None of them were rich (my dad was a farmer and her grandpa did construction). The cussed a little but never said anything obscene. They smoked, they drank occasionally. They were there to help anybody who needed help anytime, anyplace. They did not suffer fools easily but they were never nasty to anybody. They had wonderful senses of humor and people loved to be around them.

    I know people now who are "nice" people but it is not the same. The nice people I know seem to act nice because it is the right thing to do or because it is expected. The older generation wasn't acting; they just were.

    Maybe everybody looks better from the perspective of a number of years but I have the feeling that we've lost that kind of person over the years. Or are they there but I just don't ever meet them.-?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    They are still around... but there are fewer of them. At least, that's been my experience.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand what you are saying and I can see how it would appear that those kind of 'nice guys' have vanished. I grew up the same time you did and I recall those people and those times. Today, there is so much more stress and fear and chaos in our world, people react differently to that level of stress and I think as a result, those easier, more simple lifestyles are for all intents and purposes, over. I don't think it's the people who have changed so much as the people's responses to new data, new fears, new stresses that just didn't exist then....terrorism, unethical political shenanigans, religious wars, polarized viewpoints, negative biased news reports constantly bombarding us, economic upheavals, natural disasters and war stories in our faces daily......................our collective stress levels are off the charts..............and then those more vulnerable, easy going, nice guy images are buried under fear........ and folks act differently when they are afraid. Just my two cents. Personally, I've made an effort to place myself in environments which have much less stress and unrest.......... as a result, I meet more of those 'nice guys' of yesteryear.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    They were part of the Greatest Generation; the people that grew this country from the ashes of the depression and the hard fought battles of WWII.

    Things have changed. We have too much and do not give enough. We judge others by their station in life, not their potential. We view intellect and kindness and weaknesses. Hard work and seizing opportunities have been replaced by dumbing down and padding resumes. We no longer pull together in times of difficulty but rather blame one another.

    It is a very sad time we live in. :(
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm not sure if it is "stress or fear" as the cause of the loss of "good" people or not. Might contribute, but I think it is because our societies focus changed to an all for one and one for all attitude to me me me me me and I want I want I want attitude. We've become spoiled and bratty as a society, worst yet, it seems to be approved of.

    I do still see good people, genuinely good people. I was raised by people like that. I tried hard to raise my kids that's not necessarily "taught" it's learned by example and participation. My kids are pretty "good" guys themselves, although they do have a tendency to slip into society's attitude once in a while and if I catch it, I correct them.

    I remember we were on a walk once. Now a couple of blocks over we have the dearest elderly (very) lady who is determined to do everything herself when getting her groceries into her house is a major feat that can take a considerable amount of time. As we approached I was glad to see easy child right along side me taking bags.......and Darrin and Brandon joined in. I don't even know this sweet lady's name. Although when we see her carrying stuff inside on our walks we always stop to help her.

    When a society has to actively campaign for Random Acts of Kindness that society is in trouble. I don't care where it is.

    I still see it, more so since I moved to this small town, but it is nothing like when I was a child. Although I DO have to say these hard years we've had is changing that......and I see more and more young people especially learning to be "good guys". Gives me hope.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I don't see a lot of it anymore, but I do my best. It's not because it is expected, or because it looks good. It genuinely makes me happy to do for others. Just the way I am, I guess.

    Unfortunately, this leads to me getting taken advantage of. :sigh: I do try very hard not to. When it gets to that point, I will stand up and say no more... But yeah, I'll hold the door or stop for others... The best thing, so far as I can see, is doing something completely unexpected. Again, because it makes me happy to do so.

    I'm just as selfish as anyone else, in my opinion, but I'm also going to do my best to teach Inky just how much fun it is to do something for someone else. Jett... I am working on. And Inky is a good influence on him. :bigsmile:
  7. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Sadly it just isn't the same, not that I know from experience. I've cleaned out my refrigerator and donated to a family in need, a family who made the same pay as I did but they were hurting. I invited them to a few dinners to try to help out and ended up with an extra four mouths at dinner every day for dinner. I was fine with that even though we struggled we could feed ourselves comfortably. I was done with that till they started to recover from their financial tail spin and were making large purchases and still weren't buying groceries for themselves or their children.

    People take advantage. And it's sad cause I could use a helping hand too but people are scared to put themselves out there.

    Also liability, even 20 years ago when I was a kid you could jump on a neighbors trampoline or swim in their pool. Too many people sue over small stuff. You could help a neighbor on a project now if they get hurt it's your shirt.

    I want my kids to be good guys and I still reach out as often as I can to lend a hand, but it is scary. You might get your hand bit off.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I learned to love to help others as a small child. My kids were taught by example as small children.........and it continues with the grands.

    TM you hit it on the head. Our society has been well off for too long........which is how they became spoiled.

    Here things just keep going from bad to worse. I seriously do not know where the news comes up with the crud it's getting better........because now I'm exposed and talk to folks over an even wider area and I'm certainly not seeing it. People are learning lessons the hard way. People are having their attitudes changed about the working poor and the welfare poor........which is changing their attitudes about other things as well. We have many once influential upper middle class families that have become the working poor.....many who can't feed their kids, who fall just in between the cracks for food stamps ect. We have many more of the upper and middle class that have gone further down and lost literally everything.

    What I see everyday IS the Great Depression, only worse because no one admits it. (not everyone was so horribly affected last time either, people don't realize that) So those who are still doing well just really have no idea of what is really going on......until it starts coming up close and personal. When 1/3 of the kids your child is in class with doesn't have school supplies, shoes or a winter notice. When that same 1/3 is not expecting xmas or holiday meals or is going hungry on start to notice. Thankfully, most people can't sit by and watch that day in and day out and just sit on their hands and do nothing.

    When folks started realizing that they were in it for the long haul is when I started seeing things change.......and more "good people" begin to emerge. I wasn't surprised to see it was more often the poor folks first who reached out to help in anyway they could, thus triggering others to join in and then find their own ways to help.

    All the children affected by these current tough times (here it has been going on since 2008 or before) are learning the same valuable lessons our grandparents learned. I think we will be seeing a new generation of "good guys" out of it. Or at least a generation with more of them making up the populace than we've seen in a long time.

    I give a co worker a ride to work 3 days a week not because it makes me look like a great person but because it's no skin off my nose to do so. I pick her up like 4 blocks from my house, we're going to the same place. This lady is one of the middle class who suddenly found their family poor one day.......lost everything and is struggling to survive. She lost her license because her car insurance lapsed one day and she happened to fall asleep on the way home not a few hours later and have an accident. She is busting her rear to fix it........and trying to keep enough to live on as well. Her husband travels away from the area to work, stays away all week to keep cost down of commuting (stays with family) and a guy who used to make 20 some bucks an hour is making min wage. I work with a vast amount of these people, believe it or not. Now why would I not give her a ride? It doesn't even cost me extra gas. She offered to help with gas, but I told her no she has that 5k fine to pay back so she can get her license back.....she is really struggling with not being able to drive in all other areas of her life.

    You should see the ride schedules at usually people needing transportation wind up using more than one person for various reasons (some having 2nd jobs ect). I don't know how they keep track of who they are riding with on what particular day to or from work. lol omg You should see the lunches shared at work. People hand co workers money for a cold soda or whatever and do not expect paid back so someone can have something to eat or drink. (I've done this a few times too.....I take what I need and buy it really cheap) Information is shared too on where to get help for this or that because just about everyone there is hurting and in the same boat.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think people always look at "before" and think it was better or society was better. In fact, I'm glad Sonic and Jumper were not growing up in the good ole days of WWII, the depression, segregation and bigotry and alienation toward people due to race and/or sexual orientation. I certainly wouldn't want to live with an abusive man, like in the 1950s, and feel I had to stay with him because divorce was seen as so horrible and was hard to get. Some really "nice" people abused their kids a nd spouses and nobody knew because nobody cared about those issues. I was in a Jewish family. Things weren't so hot for the ones who ended up in Concentration Camps. And my Dad and Mom had to live in a certain suburb when they got married because the rest of the Chicago suburbs had signs that said "No Jews Allowed." All those nice people agreed with these laws. Also, there were no safety nets at all and not everyone has family to pick them up if bad things happen. I would not have anyone.

    I do think things are worse from at least when I grew up in the 1970s and there was a groundswelling of people caring about the civil rights and well being of others. Many good laws were passed to help others. Now? I have never seen such a selfish country of people. I do not know if it is everywhere or just the US. I have not ever known this country to be so selfish, so hateful toward others who are less fortunate than they are, and so greedy.

    I have always been a big volunteer and if I have one legacy of life it is helping others when I didn't have much myself. I remember stuffing ten dollars bills in beggar's hats when I worked in Downtown Chicago and sending clothing to poor people when addresses of unfortunate souls were listed in the papers. Both of my husbands (lol) have adopted and fostered children. I've moved on to pet rescue. Giving was a way of life for me and my kids and, except for 35, all of them are very giving as well. And nice. Nice like the people that were described here. I know a lot of nice people and some people who I feel are not nice at all, but I don't hang around with them.

    Society has changed the way we hear big events, how the media tries to brainwash us (my opinion), but it hasn't changed human nature. The people who have the most are not working in the homeless shelters. To most of them, these folks are not even people. That especially relates to our difficult children who are mostly doing drugs or in some way slacking off badly. They are seen as trash by many people.The mentally ill are also often seen as trash. Those who have the most and never suffered have the least amount of compassion. This has probably gone as far back as mankind itself. There are exceptions, but in general the more you have the more you are sure everyone can do what you did and the more people resent others who don't have, for whatever reason.

    But it was even a worse world in the 1950's for any unfortunate group of people, including the homeless (yes, they existed) and the mentally ill (you never even SPOKE of mental illness even in the early 1960's). And that goes extra for anyone of color. Remember how we jailed our Japanese-American population (and some asians who weren't even Japanese)? And some had fought in the military! I'd say, they didn't think it was so great or stress free back in the WWII days and after.

    I think looking back at our own wonderful relatives who are no longer around is not a snapshot of how the world was at that time. Does anyone else remember the Cold War or bomb drills? There was plenty of pressure back in the day. And does anyone think the depression wasn't pressure? Remember all the suicides when the markets crashed? The unemployment rate being 25%? How was that not pressure? It was for my sweet grandfather who was an out-of-work accountant. My grandma had to collect the rent for the landlord each month to put any food on the table and it was a horrible job for such a kind lady. She didn't want to have to badger poor people out of work to pay rent. Good ole days? Not to her!

    Personally, I'd rather have somebody tell me exactly what they think of me than to smile and shake my hand and say, "Yes, ma'am" when they secretly hate me because my children are not white. There was a lot of deception back then. Still is, but it was worse then. My c hildren, in some states, would not have been allowed to drink from the same water fountain as me. And "nice" people thought that was ok. I'm glad we have moved ahead and I believe we always had stress.

    I'm not on board with "it was so much better then." Or "people were so much nicer then." Really?????? If so, how did all that I mentioned ever happen?
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree that we often make the mistake at looking back at the "good old days" by remembering the good things and forgetting the bad things.

    My parents were members of the greatest generation and were wonderful, giving, and loving people but they were also a product of their times. I don't think either one would support gay marriage and my mom didn't get to go to college even though she was her class valedictorian because "college would be wasted on a girl." Her only expectation in life was to get married and have children. She loved her job as a secretary working in Manhattan during WWII but had to quit after my dad came home from the war and they got married and then got pregnant. I remember her telling me that she prayed that she wouldn't show until late in the pregnancy because once she started showing, she had to quit her job.

    I have heard 40's and 50's referred to as a great time to live as long as you were a white male.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    About it, Kathy. Women didn't usually work or have much power. The man handled the money. The man was catered to by wife and kids and if he didn't like what the wife or kids said or did he could clobber either or all of them without repercussions because who would know? Women were not supposed to do anything except be mothers and wives. These were WHITE women. Can only imagine what it was like for minority women. Probably much the same, only the men were demeaned by white men so they knew how it felt, but often still treated the wife and kids like they owed him a living.

    As the mom of a multi-racial brood...Asian and bi-racial and black...I don't think we would have even been allowed to have been a family in those days. Does anyone think bi-racial Jumper would have had the chance to shine and be Prom Queen at a mostly white school back then? Or even have white boys as boyfriends? Absolutely not. It was forbidden to date interracial in many places.

    Memories are like snapshots in a family album. In the pictures, everyone is smiling and hugging and the sadness is hidden. I sure am glad I wasn't born back then. I would never have had the chance to raise my wonderful kiddos because interracial adoption was forbidden too. I also don't miss never having met a Klansman in my life. I

    Things are still racially tense, but we have an option of not joining the people who are white and feel discriminated against, something I feel is absurd, but it exists. Still, I don't have to join that mindset and I can marry anyone I like, have kids of all races, and swim in the same pool as my kids. And now gays are finally getting the right to marry and in my opinion that is a good thing too. I don't want to go back to the 1950's. I have to lol at all the white men on talk radio who are very angry now BECAUSE they are no longer in total charge. But it is also their decision to be angry and wish for the 1950's (shrug).
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I don't agree.

    Human nature being human nature... we don't ever get to a higher level.
    All we do is improve in one area, at the expense of another.

    So... there WERE things about 50 and 75 and 100 years ago that were better, and other things that were worse.
    We have lost some things, gained others.
    Are we better off as "people"? In some ways yes, in some ways no.

    For example, our generation is more tolerant - but less neighborly.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know if people are more tolerant now, but there are laws protecting things like segregation in schools, dating, marriage, etc. People of color have it better now. I guess I'm not just looking at a white person's perspective...frankly, I rather have all our citizens allowed to be free to go and do what they like than have friendly neighbors. But that's probably not everyone's opinion. I don't think Canada had what went on here...

    Every generation that I've ever lived through looks back and thinks the grass was greener...because they don't look too closely.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Things that are worse today:
    1) Our workforce is driven by education. Practical experience is worth nothing - often, even IF you have paper. But... people with learning disabilities and Aspies and others used to be able to just BE different, and found their way just fine. (My grandpa was one.) Today, we try and make ALL kids fit into the education system - no exceptions, no alternatives (except home schooling, and even then not available to all), no real allowances for the need to learn differently. You even need 1-2 years of training to even begin as an apprentice. There is no field of work left that I know of, where you can start at the real bottom and still get somewhere in life. Your choice is dead-end jobs, or get a school-based education, including post-secondary.

    2) People "care" more about what is happening across the country or half way around the world, than they do about what is happening in their own community. It's part of the disconnect of a so-called "connected age". We are rapidly losing our ability to be a community, losing our ability to be a civilization. The downside of being a strong community is that it tends to foster an "us" vs. "them" mentality, which is by nature more inclusive and supportive but also more intolerant.

    people today have:
    1) no phone manners
    2) no idea how to answer the door
    3) no idea how to write a letter
    4) no idea how to be helpful without sticking their nose into other people's business
    5) no courtesy

    And I don't believe that where I live is substantially worse than most of the so-called "Western world".
  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, but only if your neighbors looked just like you.
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Interestingly - I know WHO my next-door and across-the-street neighbors are, and we're semi-friendly. I don't like them much, but I try. The guy across the street and down one is NOT a nice person though his young adult kids and their friends are. I don't know the others except to wave at.

    My parents are the same, though friendlier - they've lived in their house for almost 26 years.

    I'm just not a people person... Stang and Lisa can tell you this. Once I know you, I'm fine... Otherwise... Nope!!!
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    And acted like you (i.e. common culture, which 90% were) and/or were related to you (which half of them were).

    I didn't say I wanted to go back there. But I don't like where we are now, either.
    Total isolation on all fronts for 16 years straight just because I'm different and so are my kids? We are tolerated - barely. And WE happen to be part of the common culture around here... and "look like" most of the people around us. In the old days, WE would have had support... and OTHERS would have been barely tolerated or worse.
    Except now... I don't see anyone having good support structures, unless you are fortunate enough to have absolute top-end extended family.
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think that it depends upon who you know and the people who are around you. To be sure I know a lot of men (and women) who fit this description. There's a lot who don't, too. I avoid the ones that don't.
  19. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    This sounds a lot like my parent's generation and I think people really were different back then. Their world was much simpler and less complicated than the way things are today. Most of them had lived through the Depression when they were young and most of the men were in the military during WWII while the women made do and kept things together at home. They learned to make do and re-use and just get by as well as they could - none of the blatant materialism that we have today. They just wanted to be able to provide for their families and live in peace and quiet. And for the most part, they did. Looking back at it now, we lived in a relatively poor neighborhood. We didn't have much but then nobody else did either. Our family, neighbors and friends were all in the same boat - and nobody even noticed! We knew all the neighbors and they knew us, sometimes we helped them out and sometimes they helped us out. I remember our dad mowing our yard and then going over and mowing the neighbor's yard too, a widowed older lady. And there was no fear there. Parents warned their kids about "taking candy from strangers" but for the most part nobody worried. We roamed all over the neighborhood at a very young age and we were safe. If there were child molesters or kidnappers, they certainly weren't on our block! And back then nobody had any idea what a "terrorist" was! As a contrast, I've lived in this house for almost ten years and still know none of my neighbors. My daughter and sister in law have been in their house for over eight years, in a nice neighborhood with other young couples, but they only have a nodding acquaintance with the people who live on either side of them.

    Not that they didn't want to do better and want a better life for their children than what they had but it seems like back then people were much more content with what they had. Kids didn't worry about what label was in their clothes or what brand of shoes they were wearing. People concentrated more on each other than worrying about who had the latest model phone or the newest, most expensive car. It just wasn't that important to them ... now it is! People actually felt an obligation to look out for others back then but sadly that's all changed now too.
  20. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    I wouldn't want to go back to The old days in the respect of discrimination. I never met a person in my life that I wouldn't talk to because of the color of their skin. Not ever, not once, if I had I would of been friendless in the community I grew up in.
    Notice I said grew up in, not imagined or inferred but actual experience with.

    My experience with being racially profiled doesn't make me a racist. Far from it.

    My experience seeing the hardship of other ethnicities makes me mad. People are limited by where they grew up, the English they speak, the education they have none of those things are one size fits all for races or socioeconomic backgrounds or people with mental illness.

    And maybe there isn't segregation or Jim Crow laws but there's plenty of racism in every shade and self imposed segregation.

    It makes me more interested in equality, and I'm sorry if you don't agree.

    I'm a proponent of marriage equality. I am a proponent of equal federal rights for same sex marriage because honestly until gay marriage is recognized federally it won't do any good for the people I know who would greatly benefit there by. Soldiers. Gay soldiers spouses no matter what state they are married in don't get the benefits I enjoy, an they made the same sacrifice I did and my husband did an don't get half of the benefits. Not even half.

    I just wish we could of had all that without losing the ability to relate to one another.
    When my grand mother died when I was six our whole church family came to our home and made sure we were taken care of, from the day she died until she was in the ground. We had more food than at Christmas. They didn't call they didn't text or email they showed up and it wasn't just our house it was my grandfather's house too. My grandmother was a nice woman but she wasn't extremely outgoing or a pillar, she was just a good woman and we were just a normal family and people shared our grief and offered support.

    Not everyone has a college education, this doesn't make them stupid or less able.

    It just makes them POOR and likely to stay that way for the rest of their life.

    Worse in some ways, better in others.