Re-kindling the past to warm the future

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The all-over warm feeling eating Grandmothers cooking. The soul-lifting feeling of belting out an old, trusted hymn. The sturdy trustworthiness or a well-loved workbench.

So often these days we seem to be reaching back to the past to bring relevance and meaning to todays throw-away life. Isn’t it interesting in these days of throw-away coffee cups, instant communication and buy-now-pay-later that we seem to crave things of old. We take high-definition photos instantatiously on our phones, then make them look old-timey with instagram.

The whole ‘hipster’ trend, so prevalent with my peers seems to be aching for the old. Men who proudly wear beards and ties. Ladies who pin up their hair and wear dresses. Buying re-cycled furniture. Writing on type-writers. What are we all seeking in this hyper-consumerist world?

I think we are seeking authenticity. Something real. Something that will last. Something, that, in our eyes has already stood the test of time.

We’ve seen the effects of our hyper-consumerism – cheap imports made essentially with slave labour. Food so processed it has little to no resemblance to it’s natural state. The homogenisation of education, culture, design, relationships, careers.

I’ve been in churches where the latest ‘songs’ are belted out, many with little rhyme, tune or substance. The congregation is lost in a jumble of wordy ‘Jesus-is-my-boyfriend’ songs, wondering when the worship will be over. I’ve seen the exact same congregation stand up and be raised to another place when one of the old hymns are sung to a simple backdrop of piano or guitar.

I’ve sat in peoples living rooms with identical IKEA furniture to mine, watching the same TV as I have, eating off the same plates as I have, wondering where the concept of individuality has gone.

I’ve eaten a burger that tastes the same anywhere in the world, craving the real flavour of a meal made with fresh ingredients, cooked over the stove called Love.

What do I think we are looking for? Authenticity. Honestly. The stability that comes with trust. vulnerability. Real relationships. Faith, not hyper-spirituality. Love, not faux-emotion. Relationships, not emoticons.

I’m interested – why do you think people now-days are looking to the past for ideas for now – and the future?

picture is courtesy of my instagram friend ‘Smallmiracles’. You can find her beautiful pictures here

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17 comments

  1. Torbs

    I think the authenticity that has stood the test of time will forever survive, whatever that may be. A sturdy stool made by an old-school carpenters hands, will always have more value than the fabricated rubbish we buy nowadays because we save a dollar or two. It has also become a trend to like the old, the nostalgic…a fad…and that is a shame. Being real and who you are is ultimately what gives you respect. If you have to add a couple of filters to that process, it ultimately puts you into the category of being false. Be who you are and do not NEVER make excuses for that!

    A cool post that made me think!!!

  2. KerryCan

    I like your post a lot. I wrote a post recently, comparing two vintage linen towels, of all things, in which I alluded to some of the same things you talk about here. I was surprised at the vigor of the responses it received! I DO think people are craving the authentic and individual in their lives!

  3. suzjones

    I believe there is a place for modern worship and that of the old hymns. I always cry singing Abide with Me but always loved the music of Hillsong (don’t go to church these days so not sure what is being sung now though).
    In my home I have old teacups and saucers in the cupboard with bright new crockery. I think there is a place for the well made beauty of the past and the best parts of the now.
    I like this post. Very interesting.
    Thanks for provoking thought.

  4. stillanavywife

    I grew up Ina Pentecostal church in the States and the whole “Jesus is my boyfriend” trend was the very essence of our youth group. Its flimsiness is one of the reasons I don’t even go to church anymore.

  5. madblog

    I enjoyed this post very much; in fact, I re-blogged it. But I now wonder if I should have asked your permission to do so. I’m relatively new to the blog world and I’m wondering about the etiquette.

  6. madblog

    Why? It’s far easier to put on a retro pair of glasses than to live real convictions. It’s easier to borrow the superficiality than to own a life based on the substance of actual beliefs.

    • Pete Vidins Blog

      How so? Do you think you can live with convictions AND respect the past? Or does one need to be involved with the ‘new’ to demonstrate they are living in the real world? I’m interested

      • madblog

        In answer to your question at the end of the blog post, I think you are correct that people are looking to the past for something authentic. But we tend to romanticize the past, remembering the stuff that worked. And they–we–tend to do it in superficial ways. Some of the examples you gave were of people who were borrowing the superficial elements. That can give us a feeling of authenticity temporarily. I love old things; I love our old house, but hipsters are hipsters.
        We can only build on what has come before. So respect for the past is essential! But whatever we do, the only “real” that’s really real, the only truth that endures, has to be built on the Truth. The Authentic. Only living a life motivated by true convictions, and those convictions built on what is worthy of our trust, is actually authentic.
        We can’t avoid being involved with the past, and we can’t avoid being involved with the new either! Authenticity isn’t gained in reference to time, but in seeking the only Real there is.

      • Pete Vidins Blog

        I certainly agree with you!!

        I think the question ‘what is truth’ will always be a relevant and pertinent question, too!!

        I truly appreciate your ideas & thoughts

        P

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