Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday's Loose Bloggers Consortium: Modern Vs. Western Values

I was a little confused about this topic until I looked at it through the eyes of Rummuser, who lives in India. And while I don't know much about India, and I only know about what I would call "modern western" values. I may not use the terms "modern" and "western" the way Ramana does, but I do think I have something to bring to this discussion. I have experience with pioneer ancestors!

I'm a descendant of the Utah pioneers, who fled the religious persecution in Missouri, and eventually made their way to the Salt Lake valley. Although I have never pulled a handcart (You actually can go on "treks" and pretend you are a pioneer!) I do think some of those pioneer ideals have made their way to my generation as they have been passed from parent to child.

First of all, you can't discount the power of their religious faith that was passed to my generation. Although each person must be converted for themselves, still we have inherited a tradition of faith in God. We have also inherited many stories of how God blessed and helped them in miraculous ways.

I like to think that my pragmatism came from my ancestors as well. I lived with my grandmother for a time, and learned from her that we in this modern time are much too worldly. We can make do with what we have, despite what marketing companies want us to believe. Many things that we think of as necessities, are in fact luxuries. I remember watching my grandmother use her old fashioned washer, which had a "wringer" through which she would wring the water out of the clothes. Many times I have helped her hang laundry on the line, because she had no electric dryer for most of her life. And every morning she brought in wood to put in the wood stove to heat her house. Thankfully, I never had to use the old outhouse! :)

It's sad to see the current generation developing a "sense of entitlement". Because they have lived lives of luxury, they feel they deserve it, and often neglect learning how to work. It's fine to have the luxuries of life, as long as we retain the values that helped our ancestors make this world prosperous!

Now go check out what the other consortium members have to say about this issue!


Grannymar said...

I am so with you on that the so called 'necessities' are in fact luxuries. It is possible to live without a dishwasher or tumble dryer - I do, and the clothes line stretched across my garden gives my freshly washed clothes a great natural fresh smell without the aid of dryer sheets.

Unfortunately, easy credit, had a part to play in the 'I want it NOW world'

gaelikaa said...

yes, Delores, I found the topic somewhat confusing as well, and I live in the same country Rummuser does. I find your history fascinating.

Rummuser said...

The problem arises when the meaning of the word Modern is not clearly stated. It is presumed by many that to be modern is not to be ethnic or indigenous. My post tries to bridge this misunderstanding by bringing in what the confusion does.

You have reconciled the two with ease and I could not agree more.

Ashok said...

This comes as quite a coincidence because I was just commenting on Maria's blog stating that we, in India, wrongly stereotype western civilisation as being incapable of spirituality.

Your post strengthens my argument that western civilisation paid as much attention to the kind of spiritual bliss that Buddha, Shankaracharya and so many others here did. The lack of desires for luxuries is indeed the secret to happiness in more ways than one :)

Inklings said...

Someone told me recently that every couple needs "2 paychecks to survive" in these times. I said, "Really? Or is it because we expect more?" When I was growing up, most moms stayed home, but we had smaller houses, most families only had one car, we didn't have cell phones, internet, cable tv, dvrs, designer clothes, etc. Our grandparents raised 6 children in a 900 sq ft house with an outhouse. We feel more luxuries are necessities now, and to be honest, it's a little sad that we feel so entitled now.
Society does not have the same focus on the family that it used to, and it shows.