I must confess to being addicted to Downton Abbey, which my wife and I have binge-watched over the last few weeks.
I revel in the furnishings and costumes and displays of the times. The fashions and the cars have been wonderful. The treatment of the themes and developments of the day and the changing technology, culture and traditions has been well done.
In perspective, the series covers approximately the period from my father’s birth year in 1910 to just before the Great Depression. To think that at the start, there were no telephones and motor vehicles were new-fangled.
How lucky students of history have this rich live display of the times to better understand the context and concepts of values and societal change … and how close we are to history as it happens.
Yikes!! That is a sobering thought! So much has happened since my Dad was born …
In his lifetime:
- the horse largely disappeared
- there were two world wars, his father served in one and he in the other.
- the atom was split
- a man stood on the moon
- telecommunication enslaved the world
- the degradation of the world was accelerated by oil.
- the balance of power moved eastwards
I think what we are left with is that change is constant and it is better to anticipate it and embrace it, rather than resent and deny it.
Martin Luther King was wrong: we are the makers of history; we are not its product. Its time we accepted this.