This morning I was teaching Aerobics to a group of people in their 70s. It made me think how much I enjoy being around older people, most of them are appreciative of every single detail, they are kind and respectful. They have lived in a time when there was no internet and they grew developing their personalities in the real (as opposed to virtual) world. It made me think of a few things, which I am going to lay down here.
The learning world has changed.
When I studied at high school, the subjects were hard AF. Nothing to compare with today’s university degrees. When I look at my notes, presentations and workbooks of back then I flipping open my mouth compared to what is required now. Let’s not talk about University. I would spend every single day studying until 4am, to wake up at 8am (but then I chose a difficult one: Telecommunications Engineering). It was a very unhealthy life, not knowing what socializing was like, but hell you developed your memory and your analytical thinking!
When I studied Singing, we went through all the basic details, spending a lot of time on every single step before continuing to the next one. Everything was done in depth and paying a lot of attention to all the possibilities, spending whatever time was required in order to get a satisfactory understanding. The teachers were VERY knowledgeable (as opposed to now, something I still can’t understand). Also, in terms of marks, if you didn’t know something, you would simply fail and you would have to repeat your assessments until you knew them. Simple. Now, if you don’t know something you are kind of “forgiven” and you are giving a ‘Pass’ and a comment on the side that says “you can do better if you put more effort”, you are even encouraged because what if you get depressed for failing? no, no, your self-esteem is more important than the marks – WTF?! You’re not going to earn your self-esteem by “hiding” the truth, you have to earn it by working hard! And like this, not only your knowledge is compromised, but also your effort and capacity of endurance/persistence to obtain something.
The old ways.
When I look at all the things my father, uncles, grandparents, and most men and women of their generation built with their hands… I marvel in awe and I have a saddening feeling knowing that no one will be able to repeat those neat works of labour ever again. My father fixed everything (he still does what he can); he was the plumber, the electrician, gas technician, builder, carpenter, mechanic, butcher, cook, cleaner, driver, blacksmith, fisherman, hunter, beekeeper, gardener, lumberjack, and on and on… and on top of that he was a son, a father and a husband! Also when a neighbour needed help with something, they would help each others, in exchange for nothing. That was their workout, their leisure and their enjoyment.
The things that matter don’t matter anymore because we have them. Our elders did the job for us, they did the work with love because those things were the things that mattered then: having love, food and a roof for the loved ones, in the best possible way. With little means and their own hands they built everything.
RESPECT + PURITY + DISCIPLINE = OLD VALUES
Now what matters is how influential one is on social media. But if there’s a leak in a pipe we panic and spend hundreds in a plumber to fix something that could be easily done by oneself. I personally do things by myself whenever I can, I grew up learning how to do them. Homework is great for the mind and it makes you a better person. Basic skills ground you. Appreciating the little things activate your sense of being. I encourage you to practise your daily chores in between your exercise/singing programs and in between work shifts. Washing the dishes, making the bed, cooking, doing the laundry, etc. they are wonderful activities to ground you.
Stay humble 🙂