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Remember When.../I Survived...

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

A Series of Whence We Came



“We walked miles to get to school, uphill, BOTH WAYS!”.

Yes, we all hear the stories. From our parents. From our grandparents.

No matter how old you are, parents will always explain how difficult it was growing up or how easy you have it compared to them.

It’s a double-edged sword, really. As a parent, you desperately want your children to have better than you. Yet, when children have it so much easier, parents remind them to stop complaining because they do have it so easy.

Are they trying to teach us appreciation? Are they jealous? Envious?

Parents and grandparents alike have compared their experiences to their children and eventually their grandchildren. As old as time, history was handed down to generation by generation through story telling. As a youth, you only know your experiences. You have struggles and troubles. Things are difficult. And yet, the young do not realize how easy they have it in comparison to just a generation ago, or nowadays with the advancement of technology, even only a decade ago.

If we stopped to reflect, maybe we can realize how things were in comparison to how things are now. Yes, the troubles and the struggles remain, however, appreciation for the progress made should be noted at some point in everyone’s life. Today everyday things are far easier than they were yesterday, last year, 10 years ago or 50 years ago. Yes, some changes are bad, yet mostly they are better.

"prior to 1998 we had no viable access to streaming, gaming, navigation, online shopping, social media...?"

Whatever the changes, progress has a way of moving forward. Advancing to a better more convenient way of doing things. We don’t have to go to the lake and wet and beat our clothes to clean them. We don’t have to walk ten miles up the hill to get to school. We don’t have to get off the couch to turn on the TV. We don't have to go to the library to research in an encyclopedia. Most kids will ask what's an encyclopedia? Well it was our version of Google, Siri and Alexa.

Think about it, prior to Aug 6, 1991 the internet was not available to the general population. Google launched on Sep 4, 1998. From the year 2000 to 2020, the usage of the internet increased by 1,266%. The internet is utilized on average 75.8% a day.

Wait! What?!

So, prior to 1998 we had no viable access to streaming, gaming, navigation, online shopping, social media...?

It is amazing how far we have come, and how such technological advancements that took decades and decades to invent became the very fabric of our daily lives.

“When I was your age, I had to walk to the library two towns away, had to look up in the card catalog for the subject matter or book I was researching, present the card with alpha-numeric printing to the librarian who would eventually bring me to a room with these large projector machines (what's a microfiche?) and I would have to manually turn the reel over and over again until the stopping point indicated on the catalog card then request the librarian to provide me with a black and white copy of the images and texts and pay 10 cents for each page just to answer the simple question 'does the earth rotate around the sun.'”

This day and age, this task takes milliseconds – “Hey Siri, does the earth rotate around the sun?” Not only do you get a response, it is sourced and cited for you.

If you take a second and think, 10 years ago our children would not have Uber to rely on being their chauffeur, we could not Venmo them cash, and they could not watch SpongeBob on their phones (do they still even watch SpongeBob?)

"The Remember When… and I Survived... designs are a series capturing the basic fact of where we were and where we are now."

Yes, progress forward.

Both the Remember When… and I Survived... Series are relevant to all of us. And, believe it or not, it will be our kids saying the same thing to their kids. No doubt, they will be telling their own kids, “When I was your age, we had to drive our own cars….”

The fact parents tell their children “when I was your age, we had to….” is not to make them feel guilty. The complete opposite. Appreciate how progress has improved your life, your quality of life, the time in your life.

The Remember When… and I Survived... designs are a series capturing the basic fact of where we were and where we are now. If it wasn’t important or relevant, museums would not exist. At the time, WE all survived our own present situation each and every day. We remember our personal experiences and we remind ourselves and others around us, well, what happened, what we overcame, REMEMBER WHEN, and I SURVIVED.

It goes without saying, we all believe no one wants to grab their dirty clothing, walk to the nearest lake or brook, beat it on rocks to launder them. As difficult as it is, we love dumping clothes in a machine, throw in prepackage pods, turn the knob ¾ around the dial and press the little button. And during the hour of waiting for the machine to beat the clothes clean, we sit on the couch, stream an episode or two of the Walking Dead, text a friend, post a pic on Instagram or group chat by video with friends via zoom.

Progress. Moving forward. It must be measured. It must be relevant. It must be appreciated. We must survive it. We must remember.

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