There are old ideas—and “old” just means “ideas we don’t think will ‘work’ in whatever cultural, economic or political ordering of the world humanity is advocating for now”—that sometimes need new traction.
Ideas fall out of favor for a variety of reasons that reflect cultural evolution. When this evolution reaches a standstill (or when going forward seems scarier than standing still) old ideas from the past tend to return to the minds of the present.
Unfortunately, the speed of the Internet has convinced humanity (at least in some places on the globe) that the speed of cultural evolution should match the immediacy with which an individual can order a latte from their phone.
Here’s a list of some old ideas that are still relevant regardless of how fast you are culturally evolving:
- Love your enemies.
- Do good too (and for) those who would seek to do wrong to you.
- Actively practice humility and grace.
- Live your life according to a set of values, ethics, and morals that you can explain when the rubber meets the road.
- Help others who are not as fortunate as you in acquiring stuff.
- Be interested, open and caring about another person’s story so that you can grow as they grow.
- Listen more than you talk—either with your hands or your mouth.
When an old idea returns to prominence (or when an idea that never had traction in the first place takes its turn in the milieu of cultural evolution), we often say that it is “an idea whose time has come.”
Of course, for ideas as old as the ones above (and many others I’m sure that you could think of) their time never really left.