Today: Feb 25, 2024

A society not so dissimilar from the past: go big or go home

JESSICA GIANNONEOpinions Editor

In a time of ambition, rebellion and economic hardship, where society thrives in success and falls to unchanging social class standards and greed, many may find themselves asking how they wound up in the cluster of generations that has to endure such pressures of competition and unsettled goals. In a time where technology grows as opportunities sink, and the luxuries of today just might be the disadvantages of tomorrow, I tend to ask, why now?

After many fond, encouraging years of ideas embedded into my head that I would someday become a famous singer or writer, that I had the talent and means, these ideas started to become somehow less of a reality; not because I stepped out of la-la land or became a pessimist, but because the circumstances of this time permit less ease to attain these big goals than they used to, simply because of the eases of today, ironically enough.

In the early 1900s, back when cherished stars had records to showcase their wonderful voices, there were no audio editing programs or hidden tricks to fake an impressive voice. Their success was directly related to their abilities, mainly. There were no extraneous variables that took part in the judgment of one’s talent. Either they could sing or not—and were somewhat attractive (well, some things haven’t changed).

But there were no advanced, expensive technologies to promote a person who simply didn’t have the “it” factor. Nowadays, any hot woman who doesn’t have stage fright can become the next Madonna if they learn a thing or two about performing and are marketed right. Not fair.

As with books, (while writers always tend to have a struggle to recognition), at least back then people didn’t have to resent their dreams to publish a paperback; there was no fear of the print world dying or second-guessing of professions due to uncontrollable supply and demand.

Now, I fear my lasting goal of publishing an actual book is sinking to a thing of the past—and I just missed it. I can’t adhere to my content plans of advancing as a writer; I have to mold my desires to suit the money-piling devices.

The ironic thing is, in this free country, we don’t have a choice. We can do nothing but keep up with the pace of these ever-changing advances infringed on our comfortable world.

Newspapers are going digital, claiming their farewells to focus on the aged print, and the world is nothing without Internet. But what was the world back then?

I recall telling a friend that the fast-growing eases of today aren’t fair for a person like me, who believes she truly had a better shot making it back then, from just hard work. I say, why do there have to be Nooks when I planned for books? But I realize the advances people were trying to acquire back then are the realities of today. And hard work is required at the same level now as it would be back then.

The circumstances during the Great Depression were far worse than now, and the era of new innovation wasn’t a depressing time, but a celebratory step into the future.

Back in earlier days, capitalism stood as the same fierce situation that defines our present days, though social classes were more segregated as far as money is concerned. People actually had worse struggles back then to obtain ends as openly as we do now, with such liberal, fast and advanced connections and communication.

I realize that these discouraging hardships define every era, and are accompanied with opportunity all the same. Every period in history involves ambition, rebellion, economic downturns and competitive demands. Every era involves learning to adapt to change, embracing culture to gain a step ahead of the man next to you, and the ability to manipulate your circumstances to thrive. And of course, politics is timeless.

Considering the differing views toward presidents, social inequality, protests for change and mixed dreams, it seems as though society doesn’t seem to change much. Though technology may make me mildly envy those who are able to advance with ease rather than true talent, I cannot resent these times because there were always changing forces that required adjustments.

With our demanding population, growing challenges and pattern of ups and downs, we just have to go big or go home—and that’s how it’s always been.

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