Culture, people and knowledge change. It is very important to understand this fact and it is just as important to remember that these aspects are always developing with time.
What once thought was normal is now strange; what is normal now is strange to those of different times. Things change with time and nothing ever stays the same.
Instead of getting hung up on things such as old practices or common normalities, people should always question and strive to better understand them so they can either change them or improve upon them.
In the past, much of the knowledge we have today about the world was limited. For example, smoking is much more frowned upon currently due to research showing that smoking can result in lung cancer. According to the 2014 Surgical General’s report, in the 1960s, they were an everyday occurrence, they were even treated as luxury items. Smoking tobacco was pretty much considered an everyday occurrence to the like of wearing jeans. These people were not in any way less intelligent than people currently, they just did know the full consequences of their actions.
Through technological advancements, people were able to understand their world better, and as such see things with more logic and realism. This is one example of how a change in information can change an entire culture, with this case being smoking. This shows that even though people may think that they understand something now, there could always be additional knowledge in the future that could change that perception. Whether it be knowing how something is made, its long-term effects or even its quantity, any form of additional knowledge can completely make one question their own views on the subject.
Though, a question arises: what perspective would change in the future, more specifically, what would people see as strange in the future that was normal today? Would it be something small like using pencils, or would it be something detrimental to the likes of going outdoors?
There are countless theories and speculations but no one can really say for certain. People can only go so far as to predict a thing’s value by looking at its popularity and influence. However, these are not always a good way of predicting future cultural actions. For example, in 2019, it would be weird for people to wear surgical masks outdoors, but in 2020 people are scolded and ridiculed for them. Changes caused by sudden events cannot be as easily predicted as in contrast to a gradual change. For instance, the coronavirus sped up online advancements. People have joked about how one day, everything will be online, but due to quarantine, it seems as if every aspect of human interaction can be replaced with technology calls or other innovations.
Nowadays life is not as hard as it used to be. As long as one has money, there is no difficulty in obtaining food, housing or even education. This demonstrates how many factors of our life that society takes for granted were once fought for by our ancestors. For example, hunting, which was once an integral part of survival, is now nothing more than an entertaining hobby.
Ultimately, it is not about protecting and preserving the common image of something, but instead always trying to improve upon it in order for those in the future to still be able to benefit from it.