When I was a kid, travelling unstrapped in the back of yellow Kadett, windows up, tarry Benson and Hedges mist choking the air on a dreich Glasgow morning; that was the world of the time.
We now sit, strapped, hands-free, hybrid-car, cruising along motorways controlled by super-computers.
Modernisation; moving-on, developing, growing.
Does our narrative change?
Do I believe the same things today as I did five, ten or 20 years ago?
Do I see good and bad differently? Has my interpretation of nuance shifted?
You see, the world changes so quickly, probably too fast for many of us to adapt. Sure, we acquire the latest gadget – people in their 80’s are able to negotiate the internet with as much ease as someone half their age, but, what about their sense of the world around them?
Much will depend on interest, education, insight and personality.
Many of our assessments are based on prejudices that operate below the level of conscious thought; fear the Russians, pity the Africans; beware the one-eyed man, help the aged.
Millennia of evolution have pre-programmed us to work to a certain rhythm. Trust, hope, suspicion, disgust – most for very good reasons; beware the Uitlander – they come from someplace else and may threaten your existence; don’t eat the tainted meat or fruit – that kind of thing; the establishment of social and behavioural norms that we sometimes call heuristics. These are guidelines we follow that allow our higher consciousness to get on with the real stuff of being human – dreaming, hoping, loving.
And, back to the narrative.
Am I the same person I was a decade ago?
How have the seasons, affected your perception of the world?
If you could see yourself 20 years ago now, what would you think? ‘Cool, guy? Fool? Slacker?’ And, equally, if you could peer through a window into tomorrow, you as an old or older man or woman, what would you see, ‘Great dress-sense? Happiness? Shock?’
‘That young idealist I used to be… how I have (or am going to) change.’
We should expect this and shouldn’t really be surprised – most is just a lottery; happenstance. We are only ever responsible in part for our successes and failures. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Whatever is, is. As they say.
And, what is perhaps more terrifying? More to be feared? Well, I suggest it is staying the same.
The persistence of style, attitude and belief.
Think the child William Hague and that scene where he meets Margaret Thatcher, then the grown man spouting the same Conservative shite.
Thank God no film footage exists of me as a youngster, although I suspect I was never that bad, was never that kind of an arse; perhaps awkward, uncomfortable, shy, but never extolling the virtues of State and Social Class.
If you are flexible, you can bend, if not you might