People love to complain and say that the world is getting worse, more dangerous and more divided than ever.
Incredibly, there is a trend among young people in the UK to suggest that the baby boomers have given future generations a worse lot in life than they themselves enjoyed.
If you solely judge your happiness by the metric of property ownership, a very British prism through which to view the world, then potentially you would have a point; but by almost all other metrics the quality of life provided to each generation in the UK since the Second World War has improved significantly.
The bulk of people living today in the UK, whatever their income, have access to a standard of living that would have made Queen Victoria blush; technology and human advancement has increased the standard of living at an amazing rate in almost all areas. Medicine, music, travel, clothes, food (to name but a few) have all become cheaper and are all now more accessible to more people.
As a child born in 1980, I recall paying 15GBP for a single CD (the self titled album The Ramones ran for an impressive 29mins making it a very expensive indulgence), renting a new release at Blockbusters was closer to 10GBP and your clothes options were limited to what Shepherd and Woodward offered that week. Restaurants were also a rare commodity and dining out as a family was a treat to only be enjoyed annually (Fish and Chips aside)
Fast forward to 2018 and the world is a different place; a child of today meeting a child from 1970 would be akin to the Flintstones meeting the Jetsons.
So much advancement has been made in so many areas that almost every item bought today is more affordable in almost every aspect of consumerism; aside from Shoes.
Shoes seem to have bucked the trend of getting cheaper.
Sure, you can point to some rubber souled monstrosity that is now very cheap but most shoes of an average or above average standard remain as expensive as before and in some cases have even dramatically increased in price.
Trainers, Penny loafers, Doctor Martins have all remained expensive and bucked this trend, unlike their trouser,sock and t-shirt cousins.
There is something admirable about this stubbornness; in the face of a decline of almost the entire rest of the wardrobe; shoes have not budged.
So when you get dressed today and put on your affordable underwear, your mass produced trousers, shirt, socks, and jacket; take a moment to salute the pair of shoes that you put on last. A beacon of hope for all of us that try to provide a service offering based on quality rather than price.
The humble shoe is a symbol of hope to us all.
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