Life Lessons From the 1900s That Are Still Relevant Today

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Carpe diem

Many children in the early 20th century might have read the works of Roman writers such as Seneca, who urged people to seize the day. “The whole future lies in uncertainty: Live immediately.” That lesson is no less true today.

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Appearances matter

First impressions may be deceiving, but they are lasting. Appearances counted, and men and women, regardless of social station, dressed their best for work in the cities and towns of America.

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Take care of your family

In the early 20th century, there were few government safety-net programs to protect the American family, so family members depended much more on each other than today. Still, having a supporting network and taking care of one’s family remains as true today as it always was.

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Make discipline into habits

Schools in the early 20th century were geared toward preparing students for the work world. Students were disciplined to complete assignments in a timely manner. For many students, the repetition of the work routine developed into work habits that carried over into their work life. Today, while the tasks may be different, the idea is just as valid.

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Be clear in communicating

Because there was no social media and little technology to speak of, communication was less of a complicated task in the early 20th century, but no less important. Today, colleagues, friends, and family can track our movements and follow each of our posts online. Clear communication may be of even greater importance.