Every day there is more and more evidence that ordinary folk are suffering under the social demands of modern living. It is even more difficult for them if they have children. The pressure they are under from every source prevents them from living their lives as they would like to, and many are asking how they can escape from the daily strain of keeping up with everyone else.

Did You Know?

Our Society used to be divided into very distinct classes with each one having limitations on what they might expect from life. Everyone was aware there would always be things they wanted that were beyond their reach.

Consequently, they learned to admire much of what they saw their betters have without envying them. Their way forward was to work hard to achieve all they could for their family while they enjoyed and made the most of what they had. It was just as easy to look over your shoulder and see those far worse off than yourself as it was to give attention to those who had much more.

Families living in small terraced houses or cottages were usually far more content than those who had to maintain a certain decorum and keep up appearances at all times. They all helped each other and shared their problems. This was always evident when there was a birth in the family. The nurse came in to deliver the baby and then only called in on her rounds when it was necessary.

In those days there was no doctor present unless there were complications and the nurse sent for him. The new mother usually had to remain in bed for a week or more and it was often neighbours who attended to her needs and looked after the rest of the family.

No matter how poor a family might be the children came first and at Christmas and on birthdays relatives and friends always managed to find presents for the children. All of them expected one and or two and sometimes hoped for that something in particular.

Nevertheless, they always seemed happy with what they got. If a young girl had her heart set on a doll with a porcelain face, hands and feet, dressed in fine clothes but got a rag doll instead, she would never put it aside or throw it in the corner! She would love it and play with it until it was worn out or it was time to hand it down to a younger sister.

The way adults accepted their position in Society and resigned themselves to be content with what they had, seemed to pass down to the younger generations who made the most of everything they got. This attitude that prevailed in all classes generated a warm and friendly ambience throughout the whole community.

Very few people are satisfied nowadays and they blame the pace of life. There is evidence that some are looking for ways to change their daily routine and eliminate the stress and strains that are created by the demands of modern Society. They are beginning to question their priorities.

The old saying, “What you never had you never miss!” often comes to mind. How many things do we insist on having that are not really necessary? If our gas, electricity and water suddenly became unobtainable would we manage? — Of course we would!

It’s less than seventy years ago that many of our forebears had these services installed in their houses. They had always accepted without question tasks like getting up in the morning and lighting the fire after they had put the kettle on the oil stove to boil for that first cup of tea.

One of the biggest concerns must be! — If there was no oil, how would we manage without our cars? — There are far more alternatives available to us today than there were when children who couldn’t cycle had to walk to school. Thinking about it, wouldn’t that cut down on the need for the numerous diets and exercise routines repeatedly suggested for all of us by the media?

Some families have been reported in the newspaper as contemplating an escape from the stress of trying to keep up in our modern Society. They propose to slow down the pace by aiming to manage on a lower income, just sufficient to support them in a simple life style.

It was suggested they might follow in the footsteps of ‘Tom and Barbara’. The couple portrayed in the TV comedy series ‘The Good Life’. They should beware if they don’t have neighbours like ‘Margot and Jerry’ to support and keep them in touch with the more enjoyable side of the life they are supposedly giving up.

Such a move could be disastrous. Even if they were lucky enough to find a suitable site it is unlikely that today’s Environmental and Health and Safety regulations would allow them to even get started.

So what can we do to ease the stress in our lives? – Perhaps we should consider our options carefully and put our priorities in strict order. Somehow we must learn to disregard the constant bombardment of adverts and advice we receive from the media and through our letterbox unless it is something that fits our immediate needs.

They all attempt to persuade us to buy things we can’t afford and often don’t actually want. It is also essential that we set aside time every day to relax and do something we enjoy and stop worrying about those things that are not really important.

This might not be enough to get rid of all our anxiety and worry but it is a start and it will at least ensure some peace of mind. Remember, problems never seem as bad in the morning as they did the night before!

valley lad – [FORTY-FIVE]