There really is no such thing as the good old days when it comes to safety and freedom. When I heard a news report about the overall reduction of crime and overall violence in general since the 20th century, I was not surprised. Why? Because as one who loves history, I know enough about it to know that many problems people faced on a daily basis are not as common as they used to be. Even with the creation of more efficient weapons of destruction and more war, humanity in general is much better off than ever before. It just doesn’t feel that way sometimes.
As a woman today, I can travel on my own or with others with far less chance of being assaulted or killed than my predecessors. I admire travelling women in previous centuries because they risked their lives and took more risks than I will ever know. While it does not feel that way at times, I am aware that travel is much easier than in the past. The time it used to take to cross the Atlantic was so much longer and far less safe than most of us realize.
Even as a fan of classic movies and well done period films, I am wise enough to know that I would never have wanted to live during those more repressive times. Classic films I love, which tend to be of far better substantive quality than those produced today, often depict beautifully dressed men and women pursuing each other until either triumphing or losing in the end. In reality, the actors and actresses behind those roles were made and destroyed by the studio system that they worked for. I love Jane Austen’s novels and many of the films based on her works, but I would have hated to live in during her lifetime. She died in her 40s, and had to conduct herself within certain social parameters that most women today would find ridiculously restrictive.
Do you agree that living now is better than in previous eras?