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An observation of the affairs of man before and after our lifespans.

howhow Veteran Veteran
Does anyone else out there think that humanity seems to historically cycle between times of greater and lesser common sense
times of greater or lesser support for selflessness compared to selfishness?
Perhaps this is just me trying to explain away the idiocy of man when I look around at the world today or this is where we all start sounding like our parents but.....
It seems that for the last 40 years or so, humanity after generally peaking has been sliding away from common sense and selflessness towards its opposites. I think that while we may have lucked out with our particular
position in time, our children and probably our children's children are heading towards harder trials to face than we did.


  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    My father always used to say, "The more human beings advance, the more they seem to regress...."
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited March 2014
    If you are a student of history you see very many similarities between say ancient rome and the USA today or of England 200 years ago. Thats because everything that has happened before has always happened and will always happen, the people, places, and things may be different, but the human nature behind it all is ever the same.

    I will also that it seems every new generation thinks the ones that come after it are crazy, backwards, lacking common sense and immoral. I'm 35 and I have a close friend who we talk about this all the time, sound like a bunch of old men sitting on a porch talking about how the 80s were so great.. LOL.

    It is very interesting to read some of the ancient Pali suttas where the buddha talks to rulers about the politics of the day, doesn't sound much different then today. The old phrase " those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it" is alive and well.
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The Void Veteran
    If it happens IMO it is the result of the times the children come out of. For example, the children coming out of the depression in the US or WW2 in Europe were likely a heartier more grounded lot than the children of our affluent, easy lives today.

    It might happen that complacency and leisure set in leading to more difficult times which lead to more determined people and so on... and so on...

    Just my two cents
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I would say that there has been a fairly consistent ascent of man, though there have been very selected times when things went backwards or became stagnant...very temporarily.
  • I agree with @vinlyn. Though many aspects of life are cyclical, the overall trend is towards a better life for increasing numbers. Better health, food, water, shelter, education etc.

    We the fortunate few are I feel more inclined towards empathy and just common decency and I see this as a trend, just as I see the usual despots and selfish trying to stake their ignorant exploitation.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    @how -- I agree with you but would also add that the older anyone gets, the more time/experience there seems to be to notice things in a wider context.
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    I think it's a case of "two steps forward, one step back". The downfall of the age of information is misinformation but misinformation can often times be corrected through locating sources.

    To be honest, I think we are still progressing. People have always committed evil on each other and it seems to get worse all the time. The key word is "seems" though because we only know about it now whereas in the good old days, we didn't.

    We just had and are likely still having a global protest for the first time ever. It's nuts how the sharing of information gets easier all the time. And absolutely every process and event is caused by information being shared in one form or another.

    Sharing information is good because it is the way of all things (mho).

    Sometimes we don't even realise good when we live it simply because it's almost expected for the most part. When something bad happens we get public outcry but when something good happens, it's like "ok... It's about time"

    "Guy gets stabbed" makes the headlines more than "Guy returns lost wallet" simply because one is considered normal, if not commendable and the other one is considered wrong by the majority. There is a reason for the saying "No news is good news"... Good news is normal.

    Kind and respectful behavior is, over time, becoming expected globally by the masses and kind and respectful behavior is what I would consider common sense.
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