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20 Photos From The Past That Will Make You Glad You Live In The Present

20 Photos From The Past That Will Make You Glad You Live In The Present

People complain about a lot of things these days, and, sometimes, they have a valid point. Of course, there’s also the flip side to this, where people take issue with such minor annoyances that entire memes have been created to poke fun at their ridiculousness (i.e. “first world problems”). As always, history shows us why we should be thankful to live in the time that we do…

1. William Tecumseh Sherman Burns Atlanta, 1864.

general-sherman

    Back during the Civil War, folks didn’t know whether or not they’d still have a proper country to live in by the end of the conflict. If you lived in the South, where most of the fighting took place, you were in danger of having your entire city burned to the ground.

    2. Civil War Soldiers Bury Their Comrades Outside Fredricksburg, Virginia, 1864.

    burial

      There was many casualties during the Civil War, indeed, so many that our losses during World War II pale in comparison. Thanks to an archaic form of battlefield strategy (where regiments would line up and fire at each other) used at a time when rifles were becoming more common, many more men lost their lives than was necessary.

      3. Shady Figures Line An Alleyway in New York City, Late 19th Century.

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        No, this isn’t an image from the Great Depression. America’s “Gilded Age,” which occurred in the late 19th century, is relatively forgotten nowadays, but many important parallels can be made between that era and the one we live in now. That being said, our quality of life is much higher in the present.

        4. A Coal Worker Relaxes, New York City, Late 19th Century.

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          The Gilded Age was rife with cases of worker abuse. Coal miners were victimized frequently, leading to many strikes and the formation of unions during this era. If you complain about the minimum wage in the present, just know that it was a heck of a lot worse a little over a century ago.

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          5. Children In A Classroom, New York City, Late 19th Century.

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            In college we complained about the cramp rows, tiny desks, and terrible seats all of the time, but our plight is nothing compared to what these kids (and teachers) had to deal with.

            6. Italian Immigrant’s Home, New York City, Late 19th Century.

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              Being half-Italian, I’ve heard just about every story in regard to how treacherous of a journey it was to immigrate to the United States. And, even when you got through Ellis Island, you often lived like this for your first several years in the country. All things considered, today’s immigrants are a lot better off than our ancestors were.

              7. A Hotel, New York City, Late 19th Century.

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                Even the worst hotels I’ve been in seem like five star establishments compared to this place.

                8. Woman And Daughter Making Lace, New York City, 1910.

                making-lace

                  When things got bad back then, people often turned to making things in their own home and selling them out on the street. I doubt that’s something most people would think of doing these days.

                  9. Wall-Street Executive, 1913.

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                  wall-street-fat-cat

                    Wall Street used to take advantage of normal people back in the day, too. At least nowadays we are slightly more educated and have more ways of defending ourselves against their tomfoolery.

                    10. Kids Hold an American Flag During World War I, 1918.

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                      We’re not used to looking at the “distant” past in color, but if you search hard enough you’ll find that lots of these “autochrome” images exist. Back in 1918, these kids would have had to deal not only with their fathers going off to war, but economic hardship and the Spanish Flu. We have it pretty good compared to them.

                      11. Out For A Swim, United States, ~1915-1918.

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                        Aren’t you glad we no longer have to wear those frocks into the water? Yeah, me too.

                        12. Moonshine Distillery, United States, 1922.

                        Moonshine-Still

                          Prohibition must have been tough. I’m no alcoholic, but I can appreciate a little something now and then. These guys worked under the cover of darkness to provide Americans with the alcohol they so desperately wanted.

                          13. An X-Ray Machine, United States, ~1920

                          Machine-XRay-Old

                            Yeah, that thing looks about as likely to make the patient melt as it does properly image his bone fracture. I’ll take modern medicine, thank you very much. The year on this one was rather unclear, but based on the source of the image this is probably from the 1920s.

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                            14. A Poor Family During the Great Depression, Central Ohio, 1938.

                            poor-family

                              Poverty is still something that needs to be vanquished in the present, though at the very least we should be thankful that the poor no longer live like this family had to.

                              15. The Dust Bowl, Oklahoma, 1936.

                              dust-bowl

                                Along with the Great Depression, Americans in the ’30s had to deal with this little thing called “The Dust Bowl.” Lots of crops were lost due to the lack of rain, and many established farming families had to move west. Drought is still an issue today, though improved irrigation and aqueduct techniques have alleviated this somewhat.

                                16. Women On A Lunch Break, Iowa, 1943

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                                  During World War II, everyone had to work hard to ensure our victory. This included women, who often took on the roles of men who went off to fight in Europe or the Pacific. Back in 1943, victory was nowhere near a surefire thing, and the stress caused by knowing that must have been very great indeed.

                                  17. Duck And Cover, United States, ~1950s.

                                  Bomb Drill

                                    What are these kids doing, you ask? Why, they’re hiding under they’re desks to protect themselves from a nuclear bomb blast. Ludicrous, you say? Well sure, but the government made all schools perform these drills anyways. This is one of the many reasons to be glad that the Cold War is over.

                                    18. Pro-Vietnam War Demonstration, New York City, 1970.

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                                    Construction workersclash with police during apro-Vietnam Wardem

                                      Yes, there were pro-Vietnam War demonstrations, although they weren’t as popular as those of the “anti” variety. Even today, when many are divided in regard to waging war in the Middle East, we at least maintain enough composure to not create chaos on the streets every chance we get.

                                      19. Subway Graffiti, New York City, 1984.

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                                        I’ve ridden the subway a few times, and I’ve never seen anything like this. Thanks anti-graffiti government regulations!

                                        20. Civilians Topple Soviet Statue In Moscow, 1991

                                        RUSSIA COUP ANNIVERSARY

                                          It can be hard to believe that just 23 years ago, we were still trying to rid ourselves of the last vestiges of Soviet Communism. Of course, we have plenty of problems today, but at least that’s one big thing we no longer have to worry about!

                                          There you have it folks, we’ve reached the ’90s. I’d keep going, but then I’d have to blame everything represented in the photos on us and not a previous generation, so I think I’ll pass.

                                          Featured photo credit: World War II nurses/OnCall Team via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on September 17, 2019

                                          10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                                          10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                                          Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

                                          But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

                                          Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

                                          1. Spend Time with Positive People

                                          If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

                                          Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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                                          2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

                                          When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

                                          Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

                                          3. Contribute to the Community

                                          One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

                                          Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

                                          4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

                                          Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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                                          Some recommendations for you:

                                          5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

                                          You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

                                          If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

                                          There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

                                          6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

                                          It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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                                          Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

                                          7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

                                          Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

                                          For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

                                          Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

                                          8. Offer Compliments to Others

                                          Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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                                          9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

                                          If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

                                          Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

                                          10. Practice Self-Care

                                          Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

                                          Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

                                          Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

                                          More About Staying Positive

                                          Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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