Sometimes, when I think about my law practice, Lucy from the “Peanuts” cartoon comes to mind. She often sits in the Psychiatry booth with a sign that says, “the Doctor is in”- for a fee of 5 cents.
Besides answering questions about the law, I listen at length to very personal and detailed stories about clients’ lives. There is a common theme that I hear in every story: “Things were always simpler back in the day”.
My brother used to call me “the man of the past” because I enjoy going back in time to memories. Were things really much simpler?
People complain about kids staring at their SmartPhones all day, every day. Do you remember that thing that used to be plugged into the wall – a telephone? We were on that phone for hours. When I was a kid, we had one phone. The challenge was to get to the telephone first.
I like watching the news every day. The news anchors are good-looking, bright and the news is full of digital effects and videography.
I grew up when the news anchor was a man named John Cameron Swayze. He was stern looking and never smiled. The sponsors of the show were Camel Cigarettes, and Timex Watches. The whole show and all the world’s news were reported in 15 minutes.
How about newspapers? I grew up with newspapers having several editions during the day. The problem was that by the time I read the news, it was old news. Today, the newspaper industry is struggling and news is available 24 hours a day, in real time.
Here’s a thing of the past – balancing a checkbook. Who balances a checkbook anymore? We have online banking now. Everything is always there to see – no check stubs, lost checks, or smudged ink. No more irritation of trying to locate the 3 cents that seems to be missing in the ending balance you ciphered with a lead pencil. (Hey what’s a lead pencil?)
So for the 5 cents you paid Lucy at the start of this conversation, here’s what I’ve determined. Nothing has changed, people haven’t changed, and nothing was simpler or simple.
We just did what we did, using what we had. It was just that simple!!!
Take it for what it is… it’s just as I see it.