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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.

                      autochrome lumiere 9

                        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 May 21, 2019

                                          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                          For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                                          If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                                          Example 1

                                          You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                                          You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                                          In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                                          Example 2

                                          You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                                          People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                                          You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                                          Example 3

                                          You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                                          The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                                          Example 4

                                          You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                                          Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                                          If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                                          Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                                          • Understand your own communication style
                                          • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                                          • Communicate with precision and care
                                          • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                                          1. Understand Your Communication Style

                                          To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                                          In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                                          Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                                          2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                                          Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                                          If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                                          “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                                          This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                                          To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                                          3. Exercise Precision and Care

                                          A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                                          On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                                          Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                                          I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                                          I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                                          In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                                          The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                                          Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                                          4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                                          Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                                          In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                                          “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                                          Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                                          Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                                          It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                                          It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                                          It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                                          Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                                          Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                                          I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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