Modern is ‘meh’

Modernity: we created youth without heroism, age without wisdom, and life without grandeur”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

(Given below is a recent sketch of Charlie Chaplin that I drew off an image from Pinterest. He turned out resembling Charlie Chaplin well enough! More on my art page if you’d like!)

A recent sketch of Charlie Chaplin. I think he turned out okay. What do you think?

I’ve recently been plagued by thoughts that can ultimately be traced back to an old era, a past where I never existed. Beginning from the education system to the entertainment industry, somehow everything of the past, what today’s young generation term old or outdated seems so authentic and raw. I have always noticed how when I ask my parents or (elder) relatives a doubt, or a random question, they always seem to give a reasonable answer. They know a reasonable amount about everything, they can deal with any problem and they can speak to anyone without hyperventilating.

The quality of (most of) the old systems and infrastructure, primitive, yes, but were of high quality, none the less. Back then, people actually needed to pave their own lives and they worked for it. They genuinely worked for it. It’s not just about getting great grades at school, it’s about learning the art of living.

Image by Feliphe on Unsplash

Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life.
― Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

That was a time when children would greet people out of respect rather than because it was a part of their monotonic routine as it is today. (Most of) Today’s students are so shallow. There is hardly anything beneath the surface. Social media, latest trends and all that ridiculous stuff are attributed so much importance that they fail to see the bigger picture.

Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.
― Virginia Woolf

Don’t get me wrong. There are some incredibly great young people who are actually working for a change. Malala Yousoufzai, Emma Watson, Greta Thunberg are just a few of those extraordinary people who fight for causes that benefit the greater good. It’s truly inspiring to see that not all hope is lost.

Greta Thunberg delivering a speech at the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid, Spain. (Image from the Daily Express)

All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

Coming to the entertainment industry, (most of) the songs, books and movies of the past have a message, a lesson that we can learn from. There are some amazing movies today but comparatively, those of those bygone eras had a certain elegance and a touch of authenticity. People back then, genuinely tried to be the best in their respective arts and that is why they continue to live in us today.

A poor original is better than a good imitation.
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

As a teenager in the 21st century, I used to detest anything and everything that was old or outdated. That was until I began to notice the huge quality drop in today’s amenities. Sure, our governments may not have been the best then and we (as part of mankind) had some pretty terrible leaders and eras defined by dictatorship regimes which resulted in mass deaths. Life is unfair (quoting Severus Snape), it’s a characteristic aspect and you can’t change that. What you can do though, is make that a characteristic feature of your life, fit it into your life.

Image from Unsplash

Nothing is born of nothing, least of all knowledge, modernity, or enlightened thought; progress is made in tiny surges, in successive laps, like an endless relay race. But there are links without which nothing would be passed on, and for that reason, they deserve the gratitude of all who benefited from them.
― Amin Maalouf, Orígenes

For example, Elvis Presley and Queen; each of them led a career whose impact on their spectators spanned decades and continue to live past centuries. Their songs and performances, their life stories. All of it matters today because they were just so true and original. Beethoven or Shakespeare, have any of us ever not heard of any one of these personalities? No, because they were absolute masters of their craft. Enid Blyton who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries defined my childhood in the 21st century. Her books were written for children in such a beautiful manner and I feel privileged to have been brought up with her books.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
― Beverly Sills

What we’re lacking today is originality. Everyone wants to succeed at everything but (most of) them are not willing to think; just think differently. You just need to learn to think differently and that can make all the difference. This is one of the foremost reasons why things of old still retain their touch of quality and elegance. Because originality leaves a mark that not the end of the world can erase. Artists like Janis Joplin, Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein, Katherine Goble, Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn etc. continue to inspire us because of their genuine dedication.

Image from Unsplash

Anymore, no one’s mind is their own.
― Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby

Everytime I whine about something, my parents tell me it is because I haven’t seen life. I agree. I have not, I haven’t even scratched the surface. I am brought up in an era where bad deeds are considered ‘cool’ and results can be bought with money. Fame and wealth cannot and will not define you unless you actually earn it with blood, sweat and tears. This world will continue to be corrupted and defiled but ‘results for hard workis an age-old mantra, as old as life itself.

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
Sir Winston Churchill

We’re not willing to do the work our ancestors did. This is precisely why we don’t have many Picassos or Shakespeares today. We’re not done with our journey of life.

The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso (Image from Wikipedia)

There is still an inexplicably deep void of ideas to be comprehended, of devices to be invented, of classics to be written. Classics and masterpieces were not meant to be a thing of the past. They were meant to define each century, each era, each year. Right now, we’re still living off the products of age old individuals’ fecundity.

I think it’s also fair to say a few decades from now, there’ll probably be another teen comparing her era’s personalities to today’s icons like J.K Rowling or Elon Musk.

Will we ever meet a standard we create for ourselves or are we going to continue to live off of others’?

Conform, go crazy, or become an artist.
― Nancy Springer

Image by Nikhil on Unsplash

This article was not directed towards any particular person or group. It is also not a general situation as my excessive use of the phrase ‘Most of them‘ hopefully implied. No, this is just a summarised account of the recent thoughts that have been demanding an outlet. Please feel free to express your thoughts and opinions as well. I look forward to approaching this topic from your perspective. Thank you so much for reading!!

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Previously on Random Specific Thoughts:

75 thoughts on “Modern is ‘meh’”

  1. I have never agreed more, WOW. you perfectly explained so much of what I feel about modern society!
    take movies, for example – the quality of acting and the artistry and plot lines back then were incredible, because people had the capacity to appreciate such things. nowadays most hit movies are just fast paced action movies that don’t require good acting and that the modern hyper stimulated human mind can watch without being bored.
    we’ve lost so much of the art and the fierce dedication that reaches beyond money. but each one of us has the ability to fight against that 🙂 thank you so much for this D!!
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree! Our generation today is too busy “taking a photo” rather than capturing a moment or actually living the moment. It’s like people want to be famous or to be like someone instead of making a name for themselves because of their genuine love for their craft. There may be people who are still like that but society today is more focused on what is trending/outrageous rather than authenticity. I think ever since technology came to be such noise will always exist. It will be up to us to incorporate whatever lifestyle, belief or system we decide for ourselves. Anyway, this was a thought provoking post. well done! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! I couldn’t say it better. Some are so focussed on putting a show they don’t seem to realise what they’re missing out on. I think you’re very much right in saying that it’s up to us to incorporate good aspects into our lifestyles. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts! Take care💕


  3. You are a brilliant talent! Your writing and sketching is truly impressive. I hope you never stop sharing your gifts with all of us. It’s a true pleasure to come and read your posts!

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. Culture has just lost so much of what makes people interesting. So much now is nothing more than an illusion. Give me realness, authenticity, and rawness. It’s what makes our stories and our lives so relatable and impactful. Living a shallow, empty-shell-of-an-existence doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. Yet, sadly, it does for so many people. Do you ever feel like people are just sleep walking through life? Swayed by the latest trend, gadget, or status? I do! It’s nothing more than marketing gimics trying to pedal their latest ‘whatever.’ (sigh)

    LOVE this post. You’ve shared your thoughts brilliantly and I applaud you for speaking on a subject that few people have the guts to dive into. Bravo, my friend, bravo! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw.. thank you so very much! I feel truly overwhelmed and blessed that you think so!💕
      Sadly, shallow, empty-shell-of-an-existence appears to characterize much of what happens around us. I absolutely feel like that at times. You phrased it wonderfully!
      Thank you so very much for your kind comment! This just made my day! Do take care and stay safe ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love the quotes and the Charlie Chaplin sketch is amazing! I agree with some points about the youth of today. I’m so grateful to have been born into a time where having manners, being polite and showing others (especially elders) respect still existed. I have definitely made sure to teach my sons to be the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful post and very well written and thoughtful. I agree with you as well. Originality of thought, hard work, respect are sorely lacking today, though not completely. Your Charlie Chaplin sketch is fantastic, you have a wonderful talent 😀. Hope you have a great day! 🙂😺

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This was truly beautiful, powerful and thought provoking! I love it!! It’s so true 😦 Teens and children these days lack respect and the will to learn to gain knowledge, not good grades. Not all, though 🙂 But many 😦 You put this together so beautifully with such beautiful and relevant quotes! I espicially loved the first one: ‘Modernity: we created youth without heroism…..’ We have countless talented and praise worthy youths in the 21th century…. but it still lacks something. Thank you so much for sharing this D!! You are such a talented writer….. and artist! 😉 That Charlie Chaplin sketch was amazing! You should be proud of it! I am XD
    Love, Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That Charlie Chaplin picture is stunning!! Do you have a favorite Chaplin movie?
    This was a very thoughtful post👍 I agree with all that you expressed! There is a lot of things we can learn from the last and to see how to improve in a sense!
    I need to stop being so surprised because everything paid of yours is just so well thought out and beautifully written ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your thoughts are deep. I will be pondering this post for a while. I definitely agree that many old-fashioned ways of life are indeed superior to ways of life today. I just hope that this world doesn’t descend into more chaos for the next generation. I honestly wish that today’s “role models” won’t be “role models” for our children, but rather, an example of what not to do. I also wish that today’s generation can learn a respect for our peers and elders. Great post!! I love your “awfully thought” posts. I love to hear what others say. I love that you aren’t afraid to say what is on your mind! Don’t ever lose that trait! Use it right, and it can get you far in life. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It makes me more than glad to hear that from someone as well versed as yourself!! I agree with everything you’ve written here, especially the part about hoping we don’t descend into more chaos. In fact, that is a beautifully thought provoking line in itself!
      I am delighted you are enjoying this blog series! Aw.. thank you so very much! I’ll always remember your advice!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello! My name is Jules. I woke up this morning and found a notification in my inbox saying you had just posted a new (umm….) post(?). Anyway i had been extremely impressed and/or inspired by the messages you had previously put on your blogs so i was eager to read it. (Modern is “Meh”) I believe you did an excellent job with writing it and expressing what you believe. I also am grateful for the way you understood/welcomed other ideas. For the most part, I agree with you. I believe that the raw, beautiful art of the past is incredible, and should be admired, respected, and preserved for future generations. They held messages you can rarely find in today’s art. But just because it may be hard for some to find doesn’t mean it is not there. The people of today express hope, love, life, and their beliefs too, although it might be in a different way than Shakespeare or Vangough. I believe that all people change the world for the better or the worse, no matter what we do, or how we express ourselves we all make an impact on someone. I believe we were put here, in 2020, in this century “For Such a Time As This.” We Do Change the World. We Do make an impact. And We Do belong here. I appreciate you sharing your views but i wanted to show you mine. Thank you SOOOO much for reading!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so very much, Jules!! You just made my day!
      That’s a really good point you put forward, Jules! I agree that our aka the young generation’s manners of expression are different to those of Shakespeare’s or Van Gogh’s. That is precisely what I ended on asking the reader to create their own standards. The core here was the quality drop and lack of originality that accompanies this expression.
      And I couldn’t agree more with your statement that ‘we all make an impact on someone.’ That is a wonderfully inspiring statement, and one that I believe would encourage all of us to give our best!
      And your capitalisation in We Do Change the World means so much and conveys so much depth and well meaning. As I mentioned, we do have young pioneers working for a difference and a small act does indeed have a great impact! And I did not miss your Esther 4:14 reference either!
      Jules, you could write an entire essay expressing your thoughts and views, and I assure you, I’ll be the first to read it!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read, think and share your deep thoughts on the subject! I appreciate it so much.❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thank you! this is a subject that causes much controversy. And i know many people who believe strongly on either side of the scale. I appreciated how you portrayed it! and i just wanted to share my opinions! 😁😁😁
        Thank you again!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I believe it is too which is also why I added a little disclaimer sort of paragraph at the end😂
        Thank you so much! ❤️I am so glad you shared your views, it’s amazing to approach the same topic from a different perspective!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. First of all, loved the post and your sketch of the legendary Charlie Chaplin.
    Secondly, it is indeed sad to look at the generation going off the moral road, constructing their own in the process. But, I strongly believe in right parenting and our kids are what we are, how we carry ourselves in front of them. Yes, society and famous celebrities do make an impact, but I believe if the foundation is strong, nothing could stop us from creating a better generation full of hope, humanity and love.
    Thought provoking post, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This was beautifully written, and I agree with your sentiments entirely! Thank you for sharing your thoughts; it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks like this 🙂
    Also, I love the quotes ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a really thought provoking topic, D, one that I thought you explored so eloquently! I liked how you circled back to the concept of dedication, and how hard work pays off. If one wants something, they do have to shed blood, sweat, and tears to get it. There’s rarely a shortcut. In this era, with things like technology and information literally at our fingertips, it’s really important to not forget to still integrate imagination, creativity, dedication, and hard work into our lives. To dream of success is important, for there’s need of a source of motivation in whatever feat one tries to do, but to have the grit, ambition, and focus to attain that goal is even more essential. These all tie in to some of humanity’s very core ideals, and like you, I hope that its message is still relevant to us ‘young ones’ today. Thank you so much for this gorgeous post, I love this blog series Awfully Thoughtful!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s brilliantly put, Eleanor!! I absolutely agree with the need of having a source of motivation! An inspired and motivated person can work wonders, indeed!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your views on the topic! I’m delighted you’re enjoying this series, it means so much to me! ❤️Stay safe (and awfully thoughtful)!😉

      Liked by 2 people

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