Plain Lifestyle, Few Possessions, Great Contentment –
Humility, Modesty, and Empathy in a World of
Self-Deification, Hedonism, and Greed
Having observed – for the past 30 years particularly –
as the human race has descended to below the level of animals
in morality, as well as comparative mentality,
one is left to wonder how much more depraved
the modern masses can actually become.
Since 1990, “Self Esteem” – the worship of “Me”,
has replaced courtesy, consideration, and compassion
in the bulk of observable society. Self-veneration
is now the sole arbiter of what is deemed ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
Vicious narcissists on one side;
hand-wring hypochondriacs on the other:
All having no higher pursuit in life
but to be glorified and entertained.
Ten minutes on the Internet is sufficient to reveal
the depravity in which modern multitudes now wallow.
Rising above sheer laziness is too much effort for the most,
who are always looking for ways to make life ‘easier’.
People communicate by spewing filthy obscenities and crude vulgarity;
speaking of little else but pride, entertainment, or possessions;
and freely dispensing ridicule, abuse, and malice against anyone
who seeks to live respectably in this world.
Two little birds enjoy a drink from the fish-pond
I remember a world in which the terms “Lady”
and “Gentleman” actually had relevance:
when young women were not ashamed to be ladies,
nor sought to imitate the pathetic macho posturing
of vicious and vulgar men;
and being a mother at home
was the most honourable job in the world;
when men had enough maturity and respect for their wives,
their family, and other people, to tuck in their shirt
and exercise self discipline in conduct and conversation;
and children were taught enough respect for adults
as to address them as ‘Mr’ ‘Mrs’ or ‘Miss’.
It is heart-breaking to realise that the things that I value in life
– conscience, courtesy, basic good manners;
the ability to read, write, carry on a conversation;
speak and act with discretion and self-discipline –
have not only vanished,
but are now derided as “weakness”
and viewed with contempt;
while the skill and wisdom gleaned from life experience
is relegated to … “Well, that’s your opinion” –
and to make simple observations such as the above,
is deemed the outrage of “telling people how they should live”.
Now, it may well be that, in being presented with the
relatively recent degradation of human society,
YOUR Conscience may be telling you how you should live.
I am not.
You can be an Atheist, a Buddhist, a Christian;
you can hug trees, or worship the Third Moon on the Right:
as long as you do not inflict fear, pain, or injury
upon any animal, child, or peaceful adult –
I am not the least concerned with how you live
– provided you harm no peaceful creature.
Whilst my memories and life experience
may well reflect my disgust at the discernible degradation
of humanity in the space of the last 30 years particularly;
and my inability to find any point of similarity between me
and the world and its people,
that I see and hear displayed around me,
they are straightforward Observations.
Criticism is good: it keeps a wise man or woman ‘sharp’ –
PROVIDED, of course, that the one doing the criticizing
is QUALIFIED by Humility, Wisdom, and Mature Life EXPERIENCE.
I am just one man who began using a computer in 2001
because I could no longer buy ribbon cartridges for my typewriter.
The thoughts presented here are merely observations
made from someone who has always been on the outside
of the “television-controlled mind-set”
of popular culture, fads, and fashions.
I have simply spent more than 50 years
watching human society progressively degenerate;
and now lament the almost-complete elimination
of moral decency – courtesy, consideration, and conscience.
Until we became familiar with the Internet and ‘had a look around it’,
I had never imagined ‘ordinary’ people to be as vulgar and alliterate;
or as vicious, callous, and apathetic towards anything
that did not immediately gratify their lusts, ease, or vanity.
Good people ‘post’ a nature video; a film-clip of their dog,
or even a portion of a documentary film,
and the comments that appear below
seethe with filth, vulgarity, and contempt.
I shall never forget the film on a mother with her autistic child,
and the comment from America
that the woman should have … “put your retard down”.
Or the assertion below the piece on the Amish farmer and his wife,
noting that “they are all pedophiles [sic], brainwashed, and stupid”.
“What a f–king useless, boring life” declared another. [ my edit ]
The depravity of modern mankind – especially young people –
is completely beyond my capacity to fully take in.
It took me less than a week to realise
that I cannot ‘surf’ the Internet.
To attempt YouTube is to wade through a cesspool of filth:
find a video of bluebells growing in a woodland clearing and, it seems,
there will be some vile, obnoxious creature
spewing profanity and invective at that.
My brief look around the Internet
taught me about the 21st century –
– actually, it explained a great deal.
Why it was, for instance, that
whenever I held the door open
for a young woman at the supermarket,
she tells me that she can ‘get it’ herself;
why people stand in the checkout queue
bellowing into ‘cell phones’ for all around them to hear;
… or why one cannot spend ten minutes
in any public place
without hearing “f**k“ after each use of the word “the”.
They even have a slogan now – “WTF”.
The filthy obscenities of forty years ago
… are now a fashion statement.
There just is no lower depth of depravity than that.
It breaks my heart to see that any plea which advocates
moral discernment, self control, or moderation,
is now reviled as “Hate Speech”,
and that this is a world where those who cry for “Equal Rights”
– once they get what they want –
are the very LAST to give equal rights
to those who are different from themselves.
Go into the average evangelical church and you will find
a self-pleasing environment of specifically designed
to assure the religious humanist
what a wonderful person they are.
Do not judge; do not discern; just be reassured
that you are ‘special’.
If it makes Me ‘feel good’ … then it IS “good”.
No other criteria are required.
Multitudes of religionists will instinctively render reverence,
humility, and self-controlled respect – to the Queen,
who would never once think of rendering anything remotely similar
Moral Integrity is all-but non-existent
in the daily conduct and conversation of multitudes
who no longer have the ability to blush
– or feel shame about anything.
This is the 21st century: an age in which human beings
DEMAND to live in a world where –
“Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law.”
And anyone who might reason them away
from that self-serving existence,
is dismissed as a sad fanatic
who has nothing of value to offer beyond … ‘complaining’.
Simply being ethical and quiet in the modern world,
is enough to earn the hatred of multitudes
in whose seared consciences, the very existence of morality
moderation, and self-discipline … is a ‘thorn’.
From Northern Ireland, having served, since 1981,
as a private lecturer, and writer of bespoke documents
in Prescriptive English …
… my wife and I currently live in British Columbia
continuing our plain lifestyle without television,
stereo, newspapers, or cellular telephones,
in a 1920’s farmhouse, contentedly seeking
to avoid the noise, vulgarity, and ‘party’ mentality
of modern humanity.
This Internet site reflects those obviously unwanted,
‘out-of-touch’ characteristics which are distasteful
to modern humanity – yet which, nevertheless, define me.
It consists of … “Old Paths” …
that are now despised in the modern world –
written from the perspective of a man
who remembers … and laments
a world that is now long gone.