Sri Ramana Maharshi Foundation

Throw It Away And Buy Another 

‘Old is gold’ is an old adage, now discarded by a generation that, as we all did at the start of the New Year last month, wants to ‘ring out the old, ring in the new’.

This generation believes in what Sir Alfred Tennyson said in the 1800s: ‘Old order changeth, Yielding place to new’. 

Sir David Low, the celebrated cartoonist of ‘The Guardian’ in the early 1960s  showed the then Finance Minister of UK as an old school ma’m writing on the board in a classroom a gist of England’s economy then: stagnation.

She wrote “Throw it away and buy another. Send yourself a five- bob telegram.”  The nation’s economy required that people should  spend more,  So the old goods had to be replaced by new ones even if functional.  Telegrams, which were costly and mostly brought news of death or  calamity, are no more; emails replaced them.

The trend is to go for the new, the latest, and discard the old. It used to be so if it malfunctioned “Throw it away and buy another” is today’s thinking. What the old generation would have repaired and recycled providing, at least in villages,  livelihood to many a handyman or  ‘technician’ is, in the big cities, the stock-in-trade of the scrap dealer.  

 As an elder pointed out, a car or frig lasted for decades in olden days.  You took pride in its age and even developed affection or attachment  to it. It was family. No more. 

As soon as you buy the latest smartphone/TV set/AC/laptop  a ‘NEW, IMPROVED, UPDATED’ version of the same is launched in the market.  Saddled with the ‘old model’  you  have to cajole  a ‘Raddiwala’ (scarp dealer) to cart it away.

Old parents too are bracketed with the disposable consumer goods today. They are no more ‘useful’, but they can’t be got rid of easily. Young people expect their parents to become ‘smart’ like themselves, not realising how difficult it is for 80-plus people to adapt themselves to new trends

So smart young people today cart away their parents to old  age homes.


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