A lot of social activism appears to be about change and supposedly changing for the better. This in a way makes sense although I also think it’s important to recognise the values and behaviours from the past which were good and strive to maintain them; or work towards bringing some of them back. Today I’m seeing a lot of discussion about traditional values and how they are dismissed. Whilst I recognise that certain traditional values can be harmful and may not be for everyone, there is merit in some of them. For example, I believe that the emphasis on community and family were stronger in the past and a lot of what conservative activism tries to work towards is promoting this. I think that the concept of change has become something to constantly work towards but it’s worth considering the goal of change when doing so.
Things are constantly evolving without us even being conscious of it. I wonder if there is an increased rate of change because today we have so much more stimulation, goods and services at our fingertips that the competition for attention is more intense. The challenge to remain relevant and interesting is difficult so ongoing change almost appears to be the way to go. Fashion trends change all the time but even with these changes there is still this reverting back to different decades of fashion and style, which are reignited as trendy. I see the appreciation of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s styles today. From this I understand that whilst there is change there is also a fluctuation of ideas and trends being recycled and being returned back to when there is the appreciation of hindsight. I don’t think that this applies to just style and fashion but also values and behaviours.
There was previously an emphasis on knowing how to look after and repair things in your home and car whilst having useful skills like sewing and cooking. A lot of these important life skills appear to have diminished and lost a lot of their value. However, with the trend now to live the simple life, and people wanting to be more removed from a lot of recent technology and busy city life, these values and skills are now beginning to be more appreciated again. It appears that a number of people are realising the value of being able to look after themselves and their homes.
I know that often people romanticise the past particularly when the present isn’t as exciting and the future not so promising. However, nostalgia is a very valid feeling and I think it should be considered more as a tool for what needs to be included in the present, and what is really significant. Everyone knows the power of hindsight and I think it can be used as a way to bring back what was important. I believe that it’s worth having a holistic society which is accepting of people who are more traditional whilst being open to new ideas.