What is old?

The Latin term vetustus came to Castilian as old. It is an adjective that qualifies what is ancient, archaic or ancient. For example: “I’m tired of this old furniture: I’m going to buy a new closet” , “We shouldn’t elect a president with such an old mindset” , “Making the trip with this old truck was an odyssey” .

Ancient is an idea that can be applied to physical elements or to symbolic or abstract matters. Let’s take the case of clothing: pants can be classified as old-fashioned if they were made many years ago and have an aesthetic that does not match current fashion. In this case, the classification is applied to a specific garment, made with a certain fabric, designed in a specific way and exhibiting a certain color.

Like any other term used to denote a personal opinion or appreciation about a feature or property of an object, it is not irrefutable. When we classify an object as antique, we do so taking into account our own criteria, evaluating its appearance and characteristics, and then contrasting them with the parameters that we relate to age and antiquity, and each person can understand these concepts in a different way. On the other hand, it is sometimes possible for any observer to agree on the use of the word ancient, although for this it is necessary that there are conventions accepted by all. An example might be the age of living beings; Science took care of cataloging how many species it found on Earth and indicating the approximate life expectancy of each one, in addition to the differences in each stage they go through. Thus, a tree of advanced age and with obvious wear on the trunk and branches can be described as old-fashioned by most people. An idea, on the other hand, can be classified as outdated when linked to outdated or displaced thinking according to the socially accepted criteria of the time. If a deputy says that homosexuality is a disease, his thinking will be marked as old. Currently, it is understood that sexual orientation depends on each individual and is not due to a disorder of any kind. On the other hand, decades ago, much of society considered homosexuality to be something that was wrong with the individual and that should be corrected, resolved or cured. As regrettable as it may seem, humanity is still far from a maturity that allows it to live in peace and harmony, so outdated ideas are more common than they should be. Just as homophobia reigns in many parts of the world, so do machismo, speciesism and racism, along with many other forms of contempt and discrimination based on physical appearance and beliefs, gender and tastes.

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It is somewhat overwhelming to recognize that there are always more social problems than we think, that our effort to improve and open our minds is never enough. We must accept others without prejudice, regardless of their sexual orientation, race or religion, just as we must create societies in which the sex of each person is not a condition for the opportunities they receive, but we must also respect other species, avoid any form of exploitation and torture, and the list goes on. Giano Vetusto, in short, is the name of a small Italian commune with just over 600 inhabitants, located in the Campania region.

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