Almost everyone has heard the statement that the days before industry and technology were better. Angrily denounced are these modern days and a longing for days before modern conveniences like plumping, electricity, and shopping. These bitter complainers might want to consider this:
Amoo Hadji, who lives in the Iranian village of Dezhgah, has not bathed in sixty years. He smokes dung in his pipe and prepares found dead animals for meals. His home is a stone shack and a hole in the ground is where he rests.
But, hey, this guy has completely shunned modern civilization. He does not need all the “modern” conveniences. Like our forefathers in the “good ol’ days,” he did not have these luxuries and lives just fine without them.
Now of course, any sane person knows that even in the “good ol’ days,” the denizens of Western Civilization were involved with their hygiene, built reasonable shelter, and were picky about the food they ate (there was a point where food was considered rotted and unfit for human consumption).
However, those who disdain the modern day miss the fact that even the fabled forefathers were concerned with the same things people are concerned with today. What they did not have were the inventions afforded people today. Complaining about today and proclaiming the past better than the present is to guarantee a miserable and bitter existence run completely by a persistent sense of discontentment and defeat.
Food, clothing, and shelter remain the main spheres of concern for humans and will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future. The only difference between the past and present is the methods used of fulfilling those needs. Even if a man disagrees with the way modern people are handling the necessities of life, longing for the past remains a poor option. Solomon wrote, Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this (Ecclesiastes 7:10). No, it is not wise.
It is good to resist the temptation to long for the “good ol’ days” and idealize the past. The wise thing is to learn from the past, live in the present, and work towards a future. If a man dislikes the way things are now, he can choose a different way and encourage his fellow man to follow his example and teach the coming generation to follow a different way.