I've been reading some books by Karen Cushman, mainly the ones she's written based in the Medieval Ages (ca. 1290s). They're sort of historical fiction. In an author's note, Karen concluded from her studies that most people of the era didn't have the same sense of individuality that we have now; medieval people didn't have as much reason to think of the future in the sense of the next few years because their lives weren't affected in that pattern as much as they followed a circle of seasons and a tradition of lifestyle that went unchanged for such a long time.
She explained it really well--convincingly--but I just have to disagree. I have to at least hope that People can't help but be very involved in their individuality. Who's to say it was unusual for a peasant to wish they were given a different lot in life? Why ever would they just decide being born a peasant meant an entire lifetime of misery? *not that peasants were all miserable*
I just have to think that every person has wanted to search themselves deeply and find purpose for their existence...and then do something about it...
I know there are some dull people here and there, but I really have a hard time believing an entire mass of people throughout the Medieval Ages were like that.
Maybe that's just because I'm so accustomed to a very free life. Maybe I'm just a little shortsighted as far as the world goes, and there are countries with people as unquestioning now as they were in the Medieval Ages.
Well, then. I will just conclude that no matter what time I lived in, I would be me. My personality would have different highlights depending on situations, but I would be me.
(And thank heaven for living in this age where toilets flush and medicine is based on more than superstitions).