Are Things Better Or Worse Than 50 Years Ago? (And is this even the right question to ask?)
One of the things that I have learned in my life, especially in the past year, is that society is not better or worse than society was in the past. But, we will be better or worse.
We Don't Live In A Panacea
Are things really worse than they were 50 years ago? Do we experience a greater evil or a more darker society than 50 years ago?
I know we live in America. But, that doesn't make us immune from evil or difficulty. We all face hardship. And that's ok. Change your perspective on hardship. Because without difficulty you will never become as strong as you can be. I was thinking this week about all of the people who complain about how bad our culture is today. We know the stats and have seen the degradation of our society. There is always a large part of the country thinking negatively and critically about the condition of society. The spiraling changes are significant:
-moral vacuum (growth in addictions and loss of principles)
-media (television, radio, print, digital, and internet revolution)
-music and entertainment industry (lessening values in programming and loss of control by the networks)
-athletic and sports industry (materialism and selfishness)
-modernist to post-modern worldview shift (from an enlightenment mind that had a humanist and moral template ready to solve human and world issues to no universal code of right and wrong way of guiding society)
But, is there really a difference between today's culture and years ago? Here are headlines from the 1900’s to the 1930’s newspapers:
“Bank Manager Found Guilty of Embezzlement”
“Mass Killer Charged”
“20 Dead in Theatre Collapse”
“President Appoints First Jewish Justice to Court”
“Marijuana Crazed Youth Kills Fellow Students”
“New Housing Problems on Horizon”
“Crowd Vents Anger by Destroying property”
“Racial Riots Break Out in White Neighborhood”
“Teens Growing up too Quickly”
Society Is Not Better Or Worse But We Will Be
Are things really any different or worse? I don't think so. Evil may be more prevalent. But, certainly not more severe. Listen, human nature in the 1st century or the 21st century is human nature. And our propensity for evil is as strong as ever. Sin will not let up. And the scriptures say it will increase. But, what is more important is that we see our desire for holiness increase.
The question is not about the increase of hardship or evil in society. How I meet the evil in society is more important than the presence of evil in society. The one thing that should be more important to us is our spiritual formation. Spiritual maturity should be the focus of our lives and not trying to solve the question of whether there is more hardship in the world.