Sunday, 2 December 2012
The Good Old Days....?
It's funny, if you've ever spent time around grandparents, and even parents, there comes a time when soon enough they would say something like this:
"Well, back in my day...." or
"I remember the good old days, when...." or
"Things just aren't the same as they used to be...." and
"You young people are spoiled these days, we never had anything like..."
Kids laugh it off and think in all seriousness "wow, you must have been around when the dinosaurs lived!"...
But seriously, even though we have so much excellent stuff in today's modern world... technology, science and education have gone ahead in leaps and bounds... medical breakthroughs and so on... I can't help but wonder, how much ancient wisdom have we shed in the process??
Ancient civilizations had some strange practices and customs by our standards... but they weren't silly... take the seven wonders of the ancient world for instance... even by today's standards, modern man would be hard pressed to duplicate what the ancients accomplished, even with the help of all their modern machines and devices... and yet their ingenuity & craftsmanship is marveled and revered to this day...
As any historian will know, the past is definitely not all grand though... every era of history has had it's ups and downs... genius and madness...
I remember reading some old remedies in an antique medical journal my brother once owned... dated from back in the early 1800's... and one of the remedies for stomach ache: "take two teaspoons of arsenic"
In another book of old folk remedies...the "cure" for tooth ache: "tie a dead rat around your face"...!!!
Now, obviously, we know better!!! Needless to say, we laughed hysterically at the ridiculous remedies... but oh the poor souls to whom it was administered!!!!
Strangely enough, many old time "cures & remedies" have been proven outdated or even made illegal through our knowledge and application of modern science... (and much to our relief and benefit!)
Although, modern medicine has not been without casualty - with class action lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for many new "wonder drugs and vaccines" that have gone horribly wrong...
On the other end of the scale, some examples of ancient wisdom:
* We have the old "chicken soup" remedy for the common cold or flu... which has been scientifically proven to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms... (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/the-science-of-chicken-soup/)
* Grains, pulses and legumes were soaked, fermented, sprouted etc.. before cooking or consuming... necessary preparation undertaken by ancient cultures... now proven by science - as fundamental to neutralizing anti-nutrients, and making them more readily digestible - unlocking valuable nutrition that is not accessible when incorrectly processed... (http://www.healthbeyondhype.com/hidden-dangers-your-whole-grains-beans-nuts-seeds-ezp-138.html)
I often wonder then, how much have we been guilty of "throwing the baby out with the bath water"**... or how much of our modern science has uncovered factual evidence in support of old time practices, finally proving that there really was a "method in their madness"?
Needless to say, there has been an exodus for some time now, of many who are deserting modern culture to rediscover tried and true methods of the past, and returning to a more simper style of living... especially as allergies and disease have taken a drastic increase with the development of all our new found food technology, not to mention pollution and so on...
Personally, I consider that getting back to some of the basics may not be such a bad thing...and it's quite remarkable what you discover when you start to look beyond what you've come to accept as "the norm."...
**"Throw out the baby with the bath water is an idiomatic expression used to suggest an avoidable error in which something good is eliminated when trying to get rid of something bad, or in other words, rejecting the essential along with the inessential. " "Wikipedia"