I was reading the 1941 edition of Ladies Home Journal the other day. In a section called, Remembering the Last 50 Years of Ladies Home Journal, there was a question from a reader to the “Dear Abby” of 1891. The question from this young lady was asking what she should do about a man she had known since childhood who just insisted on calling her by her first name. Even worse, was that he had the appalling nerve to introduce her to people by her first name. The advice? Let him know how much you disapprove of his actions and tell him that she just simply cannot tolerate it. If he did not stop, she would have to end the friendship completely.
I was thinking about how much times have changed. Were the women treated with more respect back then or are we treated with more respect now, since the men of today know of all that we are capable? Right or wrong, I feel as though the women had more respect from their male relations back then, even if the world denied them as many opportunities.
It has been said that Walt Disney was a “man who had nineteenth-century emotions in conflict with a twenty-first century brain.” I find myself to be of similar nature. It seems as though I am living in the wrong century. All the visions of grandeur in my head revolve around a simpler time, when people had respect and manners, and were interesting but not so outlandish. I think I was born too late! Maybe I have just read too many Jane Austen novels.
I can tell you that I long for a time when relationships would go back to being more personal — like they used to be. When people looked into each other’s eyes at dinner and had real conversation, rather than having their heads down and eyes on the latest technology. I miss the verbal interaction and tonal conversation that one cannot get from reading a text message. I miss the opportunity to have my hand touched or a smile received because someone found something I said touched them somehow.
I wonder if I might eventually be unable to communicate in this world at all. What if I get old and cannot afford the new gadget I will need to order my food or make a doctor’s appointment? Who will be working if technology takes over? Even at Walt Disney World they are contemplating a new system where you just bypass the resort check-in altogether. Walt would be horrified by any notion of not having the human interaction of a guest being welcomed personally to the most magical place on earth. A large amount of the magic is the people. He intended it that way!
I guess all I can really do is stop wishing so much for the impossible and try to accept the reality which is the twenty-first century. Still, I understand exactly the emotional place from where Walt came.
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