I don’t want to be guilty of that bane of older people: considering everything “back in my day” to be superior. No era or society has been perfect since Eden.
Many societal perspectives have improved from what I grew up with. And I love the conveniences, technology, and multiple ways to communicate that we have today.
But in my youth, I heard certain sayings repeated enough to become truisms. I don’t hear them any more, but I think we need them more than ever.
- “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (Evelyn Beatrice Hall). Freedom of speech used to be one of highest values in this country. Now, if you don’t fit within the prevailing narratives, you’re publicly shamed or “canceled.” We’ve gone from absolute truth to the postmodern lack of absolute truth to “My truth is the only truth.”
- “It takes all kinds to make a world.” That seemed to sum up how people reconciled the fact that others could think so differently from themselves. Along with this one was:
- “Live and let live.” Most didn’t advocate “anything goes.” There are times to speak out against wrongdoing. But we’re also not made with cookie cutters. We won’t all do and act the exact same way in everything.
- “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” This encouraged people to consider the background, personality, and perspective of others. Now, people make all sorts of judgments based on a 140-character tweet instead of trying to understand the other person’s viewpoint.
- “We’ll have to agree to disagree.”This one went around fairly recently, but it’s been quickly forgotten. Now people can’t seem to just disagree on matters large or small without vilifying each other.
- “Don’t believe everything you read.” A corollary to this was “Just because you see it on TV (or in the newspaper) doesn’t mean it’s true.” Now we tend to believe articles and posts that support our views and disbelieve whatever doesn’t.
Of course, these are limited. They are not Scripture. Some may have exceptions. But they are pretty good common sense, and some are based on Scriptural truth.
What do think? Is it possible to bring these back? Can you think of any others?