Friday, 16 September 2016

Writing - When your present becomes the past

We all are told to live in the 'now' as the past is gone and the future is unattainable. However, it is also true that as we get older what we have lived feels like our present, but the blow comes when you get to an age where what you have experienced is referred to as history, recent perhaps but nevertheless history.

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I recently read this,

The 19th century has dropped off the radar. Nobody who actually lived in it survives, and it has become a rather remote period of history - unlike the 20th.

It is interesting but that is the way of things and always has been and that is why it is important to write things down. I am old-fashioned enough to be unsure of committing everything to some hard drive or Onecloud, Dropbox or other ethereal method of storage that we pawns have no control over. Even floppy disks I could feel more confident about, but the idea that all of our data is being stored in some rent hungry cloud that we cannot have dominion over is quite scary.

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The fact that data can be stored without any physical place to see it means to me that if the 'lights' go out all of that information, some of which is personal, will be lost. To use an old saying 'like putting all of your eggs in one basket'. So keep writing on paper, producing real books and producing diaries because they could be all we have left in future centuries.

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Back to the Victorian era. In some more primitive peoples the respect for the elders of their tribes may well come in part from their being a link to the past of that tribe. We in what is euphemistically described as the more advanced societies, are losing touch with our older members. There could come a time when the burden that is the over sixties, may attract some less than human solutions to its being solved.
In our increasingly secular society we are contemplating actions which would never have even been voiced during the Victorian era. Suicide clinics, legalised euthanasia and the like have been hinted at in stories such as Bicentenary Man beautifully acted by the late Robin Williams, but I can't accept it as an option. People who are suffering severe illnesses may feel suicidal but my belief is that it is because the nature of their care isn't helping them to live as good a life as possible. My grandmother on my mother's side of the family suffered rheumatoid arthritis and died at the age of 41, a year after my grandfather died as the result of an accident in the coal mine. People with the same disease in the 21st century are living a lot longer because of medical breakthroughs in the realms of painkillers and drugs to slow the advance of the disease as well as a better understanding of how diet can help. To me it is illogical then to say that we allow people to kill themselves because of any disease, as the next medical development could be just around the corner.

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I remember people who were born in the late Victorian era and I'm only in my sixties there must be millions out there who have their memories which should be treasured. Each of us in our turn achieves that situation and there is a purpose to it. We have the wealth of experience of our lives and of those that bore us and within that there are valuable lessons for humanity.

Just because we are older than sixty does not mean that we are no longer productive or of value, so you youngsters beware because we know stuff you haven't learned yet!

God Bless