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Global Q&A: ‘Were things better or worse in the past?’


Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 28, 2012 Last Updated: December 4, 2012
Related articles: World » International
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Generally, the past is remembered for higher moral standards, greater personal freedom, and healthier and happier lifestyles lost in today’s high-tech society. This is what Epoch Times reporters from Chile to Spain discovered when they asked locals:

Were things better or worse in the past?

Marcia Cardozo Azocar, Puerto Montt, Chile (The Epoch Times)

Marcia Cardozo Azocar, Puerto Montt, Chile (The Epoch Times)

Puerto Montt, Chile

Marcia Cardozo Azocar, 39, Nursery Educator

I think romantically or nostalgically, the past was better in many ways. We lived loving God; morals were very important in every person’s life. Although there was not so much technology and comfort, and we lived rustically, there was human warmth. With the arrival of television, families started to lose communication, and when more technology gradually developed, man lost personal freedom. … Today, everything revolves around consumerism. This is a world without principles: you can do anything and it does not matter.

Ramón Rivera, Lima, Peru (The Epoch Times)

Ramón Rivera, Lima, Peru (The Epoch Times)

Lima, Peru

Ramón Rivera, 61, Dentist

I think things in the past were better, because I think that we had more confidence, loyalty, and solidarity, which are values that have been lost today. I remember that houses were open to children; communication was more fluid. With the high technology of the present, people communicate less, and less personally, and people don’t respect each other. Before the word of a person was law.

Ana María Villa Velásquez, Medellin, Colombo (The Epoch Times)

Ana María Villa Velásquez, Medellin, Colombo (The Epoch Times)

Medellin, Colombo

Ana María Villa Velásquez, 40, Psychologist

During the stage of youth, things were worse due to the fact that in the city of Medellin we lived among too much violence, and all the time we lived in fear. But at the stage of childhood things were better and very quiet.

Nihad, Zverotich, Malmo, Sweden (The Epoch Times)

Nihad, Zverotich, Malmo, Sweden (The Epoch Times)

Malmo, Sweden

Nihad, Zverotich, 38, Nurse

I think that it was much better before, in the past, not so much stress. Though I don’t understand how people could manage to live in those days. Today, we have all kinds of information and all kinds of technology like computers, mobiles et cetera. But I think life was much more peaceful then.

Eric Morgan, New York, USA (The Epoch Times)

Eric Morgan, New York, USA (The Epoch Times)

New York, USA

Eric Morgan, 44, Real Estate Investor

I don’t really like the phrasing of the question, I would rather say things are better now. Yes, they were not worse in the past, but they’re better now. Worse has a negative connotation. There’s more equality, nothing’s perfect obviously. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think it’s much better, people are living better, they’re living longer, healthier.

Leena Hussain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (The Epoch Times)

Leena Hussain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (The Epoch Times)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Leena Hussain, 23, UG Student

Overall, yes I do think that the past is a much better example of healthy and happy lives, as opposed to nowadays. As adults today, we see the faults and imperfections of our lives, but as kids, we enjoyed our lives without a care in the world. Thinking back to the past, often we experience nostalgia and longing, which correlate with certain events in our lives, and allow us to feel better at a time of need. The past is known and familiar, which leads us to believe that events, places, people, et cetera in the past were better.

Segura Quintana, Spain (The Epoch Times)

Segura Quintana, Spain (The Epoch Times)

Spain

Segura Quintana, 50, Hospital Maintenance Technician

Personally, I don’t share these lamentations of the nostalgic ones, always wanting to return to live in the past. I think that every moment has its circumstances, and the fact to be better or worse, depends mainly in the attitude with which we confront them.

Angela Green, Diddillibah, Australia (The Epoch Times)

Angela Green, Diddillibah, Australia (The Epoch Times)

Diddillibah, Australia

Angela Green, 57, Insurance Advisor

I just think it’s got out of hand. There are too many people in the world, too cruel to animals. In the past, there was more freedom, less technology. I think technology has got out of hand. Children can’t do anything, the teenagers are getting watched everywhere they go. Lots of things; I wouldn’t like to be a teenager in this era.

Joselito Almeida, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (The Epoch Times)

Joselito Almeida, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (The Epoch Times)

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Joselito Almeida, 40, Fireman and Technical Nurse

From the point of view of information, [it] is better. The technology and globalization permits seeing news from every side of the world, and it arrives instantly to us. About violence, there is an intolerance installed in humans; [people] have no tolerance with another. To take advantage has become a law among people. I believe that in the past [things] were better, because there was tolerance, less violence, people worked and did not have all that people needed, but they lived well. Today, people seek their objectives, professional qualifications, financial condition and have whatever: house, car, materials goods. I think every day is worsening the humanitarian aspect in the world.

Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “Do you believe there is other life in the universe?” 

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