In all areas of life there seems to be pressure to accept the current edition, the newest thing-a-ma-jig as the superior. The argument of “newer-is-better” assumes that a modern idea should be preferred to an ancient one simply because it is modern. This way of thinking has a long history, going back at least to the Athenians of the Apostle Paul’s day who “liked to spend all their time telling and hearing the latest new thing” (Acts 17:21).
The peer pressure to keep up-to-date is powerful in our society. The results of this pressure can be seen all around us. Take the clothing industry for example. The stores today do not sell clothes (they do, I know, but stick with me). From a broader perspective what they are selling is fashion. Back when companies first started selling clothes, the fabric was extremely durable and designed to last for years (Levi jeans, for example). Clothing does not change; shirts, pants, coats, socks, etc. Fashion, however, changes from year to year and from season to season.
One resource I find myself still using on a regular basis is John Bartlett’s book of Familiar Quotations, first published in 1855. All of the quotes in the book you can probably find online, but what you won’t find is the underlined, smudged, paper smelling pages of my old companion. There is something beautiful about that book; timeworn with dignity.
I imagine every person will come face to face with this hard reality at some point in their lives—that newer doesn’t always mean better. Especially after years have gone by and we gift to one of our friends or relatives something of value. Whatever that item of value is, at one time, it meant a lot to us. And now, as we give it a new home, we hope it isn't just put on a shelf to collect dust. And why would someone do something like that? Well… it isn't new anymore.
Jason E. Royle
Welcome to my blog. I'm an open-minded theologian committed to Christ-like compassion & understanding.
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