Tuesday, 16 August 2011

What is the world coming to?

In this month when we have had riots on the streets of England one has heard the question “What is the world coming to?” asked a fair bit. It is worth taking a moment to put this question in context.

A tablet from ancient Assyria, about 2800 B.C. – I stress, that’s nearly five thousand years ago - stated: 'Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common.'

Around two and a half millennia later, Socrates complained, 'Children are now tyrants... They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize over their teachers.'

And a few years later Plato wrote of his students: 'What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them.'

What is the world coming to? It's carrying on, pretty much the same as it always has done. And that, in its own way is an even sadder reflection than if it were changing.


  1. As you say, it is a sad reflection that things are no better now than 4000 years ago. Glad Game? Are they any worse? Further thought: look what happened to the ancient civilisations of Assyria and Greece (and I don't suppose it was any better in the Roman Empire).

  2. I bet the ancients blamed ........
    The previous government.
    The judiciary.
    The church.
    That's it....I've not missed anyone out.........Wait a minute there was a bloke photographed hugging a Hoodie.
    What was his name?

  3. so sad to hear of all the horrible riots going on. I know there is still a LOT of GOOD in the world and GOOD people. I think they still outnumber those who want to cause so much heartache. It scares me and i worry for my grandchildren...

  4. Linda, I suspect that along with bemoaning the behaviour of modern youngsters the ancients also worried for their grandchildren but, as you say, the good usually outweighs the bad and as a species we survive OK.


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