“I remember when I was younger,” that is a phrase people will use multiple times during their life, I used to think I would always be “in the loop.” I knew what clothes to wear, and what was considered cool. I used to have a notion that I would never get old, and that I would always understand what is being said when “hip terms” are being used, but sadly age has hit me like a lightning bolt, and to be honest I’m not all that sad about it. Today, as I was speaking with my younger brother, I found that I had to ask him about the meanings of some of the slang terms being used today. As few as five years ago, I was under the impression that I would always know the meanings of these nonsensical terms, but as I have grown I have found that they are unnecessary to living my daily life. Slang terms are words used to describe a situation or an individual, that have been created by children due to their ease of use. Slang can also be used as a method to fit in with one’s peers, and show solidarity as a group. I have no use for slang in my everyday life, because I don’t really find myself in situations where it is standard vernacular, and I could always just ask a younger sibling or cousin about the meaning. Today I gathered a realization of just how much people can change in a very short time. Growing up does not mean you are no longer “cool,” it just means that priorities change, and what was once considered notable knowledge has gone away along with the toys and the stickers.
What is progress? By that I mean what is true progress as in improvement, can it be placed on a scale and weighed? Can one’s progress be the regression of others or is all progress total “forward motion.” I guess the best way to answer these questions is to look at examples of progress in different cultures. Progress is not a tangible thing it is a cultural idea that just falls along the lines of social norms. In some cultures it would be considered progress just to go to college and graduate, while another may see that as a basic necessity. It is kind of interesting how someone’s progress can actually be held back by the standards of their culture. Consider the fact that some countries forbid young women from doing simple things such as driving and going to school. In America we would consider this extreme regression but in those countries and cultures, I guess they feel the progress of the woman is determined by her ability to be a wife and a mother to a wealthy man and his children respectively. The idea of “social progress” has sprung up, in large part due to the influence of Facebook and Twitter, and has created a more uniform view throughout the world of how progress should look. The ideas behind social and cultural progress clash on many fronts, social progress asks the questions that lead to progress, while cultural progress is long standing and often leaves little to no room for questioning. I personally understand how people can desire a uniformed standard for progress, and how people have to fight for the right to move forward. It is also clear to that due to the strong level of cultural involvement in the lives of many, and the fact that these cultural norms are woven into the fabric of almost all “non-westernized” countries, the desire for a uniformed definition of progress will have to wait for another time or generation. There is one thing true about all levels of progress, no matter the level “progress is a process” and it takes time to get where you want to be, but as long as you go through the process of fighting for it you will make progress.