Back in your day things were better.
Oh, sure, times were harder. You had it rough. You had to struggle. Sacrifice. Make do and do without. There was a lot to put up with. A lot of strangeness. Everybody was making it up as they went along. But look at you! You turned out all right, didn’t you? (Although we have to take your word on that.) You dealt with it. You got by. You muddled through. And you’re the better for it. Stronger. Tougher. Self-reliant. Independent.
Not like kids these day, right?
Kids, parents, students, workers, consumers, drivers, voters, everybody who isn’t you, who didn’t go through what you went through, who didn’t have to put up with what you had to put up with, who could use more of the spirit you had, who need to learn the lessons you learned.
But times change. Society changes. The economy expands and contracts. Money flows this way, then that way. Technology advances. There were things going on in the country, in the world, that made the circumstances of your day different from circumstances today.
How things were back in your day isn’t a particularly useful way for gauging how things should be in our day.
Once upon a time, kids walked barefoot to school, and they were the better for it. Except that it was because they were too poor to own shoes.
Image: Snap the Whip by Winslow Homer. 1872. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.