IS THE SIMPLE LIFE A MYTH?

Peter Wynn
2 min readNov 17, 2023

Former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, said that “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.” People often groan that “life was so much simpler,” in a bygone era, to which you have to ask was it really?

People talk of the 1950s as being “the good old days,” and okay, unless you were a country kid, and had it straight from the cow, you may have had your milk delivered to your door by a vendor who collected the empty ones you left out (if you were a schoolkid, however, your perception may be tainted if the milk that was delivered to school was delivered at 7am and was warm by the time you drank it. I remember, at my first primary school, we had a milk vendor, and my mother gave me some money to have milk, but it wasn’t delivered at 7am and kept until later to drink, the milk vendor parked outside the school gate, you lined up with your money and you bought it, and he gave it to us from the back of his refrigerated truck) and you might have had bread delivered or you bought it early in the morning from the baker, unsliced. Part of the reason why I think people have this perception of the 1950s is that families largely lived on a single income, the father worked, and it’s a fallacy to say that women didn’t work. Married women weren’t in paid employment, but they made their husband’s clothes and their children’s clothes, cooked meals and so on. But one thing that ridiculous populist politicians like hanson need to remember is that there was no measles vaccine in the 1950s, so some kids died of encephalitis. A point for the anti-vaxxers or the idiots like hanson who claim not to be anti-vaxxers but believe you should have a choice (i.e. anti-vaxxers who won’t show their hand) to remember is, such deaths are far rarer with measles vaccines. I could just have imagined idiots like hanson carrying on about chest x-rays for TB.

There may have been fewer choices, and far more examples of monopolistic capitalism decades ago, and examples which people didn’t think of, and in that respect, life may have been simpler. If we take the example of the milk vendor, they didn’t, unlike the shops, carry this brand of milk or this brand of milk, and some forms of milk, such as lactose free, grew out of a social need but formed part of a niche market. And the milk vendor didn’t deliver yoghurt.

I do not believe that we can say that kids do not experience stress, they do, especially if, and domestic violence occurred in the 1950s, too, they had violent lives at home. I do, however, believe that the age one was when they believed that life was simpler can colour one’s view of the true simplicity of life.

--

--

Peter Wynn

Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.