Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do we really want to remember?

This “For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston, (Updated 25/9/2010) instigated my memory of the past too. In this strip, it opens with the mother in the Supermarket with her trolley and her toddler daughter and holding a carton of Milk. “ She says, “ Look at this price Elizabeth! – I remember when milk was 50c a quart!” She then goes on to say, “ I remember when bread was $1.28 a loaf and Chicken was $1.45 a pound.” At which point an old, old bald gentleman taps her on the arm and simply says, “Don’t ask me what I remember!”
Yes no matter what we remember, others can also remember ever further back too.
I can’t say I remember when milk was 50c a quart, but at least I can remember what a quart was, and when milk was in bottles too! (Even if only one pint Bottles!) My children in their 20’s & 30’s, wouldn’t, having never growing up with them. Nor with Pounds and ounces either for that matter. So my point here, is that we have to stop living in the past and go on into the future, whilst being happy here in the present.
True, things were cheaper in the past. I remember when the Herald newspaper cost 3 pence. Now the Herald Sun costs $1.10 weekdays; and more over the weekend! Of course, things were cheaper then, but what we also forget is that our wages were a whole lot less then too. As said, when I first started working, a newspaper was only 3 pennies. But my first full wage was only 6 Pounds Australian! That was the week before Feb.14 1966; I remember that date only because on that date, Australia went from Pounds, shillings and pence, To Dollars and cents. Thus my next pay was not now 6 pounds, but 12 Dollars. No I didn’t get a pay rise, that was the then current conversion rate.
Imagine that, working a 40-hour week for 12 dollars. You couldn’t get away legally with paying that for an hours wage now! So yes things were cheaper then, but so was our buying power too. Of course we have so much more now to spend our money on don’t we? And that is where our real problems lie, isn’t it? Not on how much things cost now, verses then, but on what, like food are real necessities, and what, like fast food and fancy phones, CD’s etc, are actually unnecessary luxuries, that we have made necessities.
So let us all look, not back at the prices 10 or 20 years ago, but let us look hard and close on what we are currently spending our money on now, and whether they are really necessities or just desired luxuries?
Not that there is anything wrong with a few luxuries, but do let us get our priorities right first! Okay?

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