Evolving over the last 3 generations!
I have always wondered how life has changed over the last few generations for humans. I possess some interest in learning about past history and always tie it back to how I would be part of an historical era in the year 2100. I have been fortunate to have a grandfather who is 95 years old and he shared several of his life stories with me. It really brought out things I have missed and others that my grandfather missed.
Whether it is education, employment or retirement, a lot has changed between 1916 and 2016. I find myself to be part of the generation where women and men consider themselves far more efficient and knowledgeable than their ancestors, though this is not necessarily true. If one looked at automobiles today, power steering, automatic gear and air bags are a given. Back in the day, one had to mechanically crank the engine to get it started and operating the steering wheel required muscle strength. When it came to food and daily meals, blenders, food processors and grinders were not available. One had to use one’s own hands to cut, chop, slice, grind, shred and mix. It would involve hours of labor and tremendous amount of patience. Buying a home would be an option for few people. The medical industry was still growing and several people died of tuberculosis, small pox and child birth. When we think about communication, this is one industry which has changed to a very large extent. Several decades ago, when people went overseas, there would be no form of communication for days. A snail mail would show up after a month or two. Today, can one even imagine not being in contact for more than 8 hours? Taking a photograph involved several days of planning, had the entire family decked up and ready for the occasion. There would be one click and that was the only chance to show your white teeth. Today, an average person clicks close to 500 photos at every vacation.
Pre-computer era saw people using their brain a lot more to do simple math functions. Today, one spends more time opening up a calculator app on his/her phone to do the same function. We are saving time by cooking faster, driving faster, planning vacation trips and buying tickets online, doing our taxes on the web, paying all bills on auto-pay mobile banking, doing homework on the computer and even using electric tooth brushes! What do we do with the rest of the time? A simple logic tells us we are more efficient than our grandparents and have the luxury to do far more activities than they could have ever imagined. What are we doing with the time that we have? This to me is a mind boggling question. Different people have different answers. What comes to my mind is enormous waste of time. Today, people can check e-mails throughout the day, can send sms/text every second, share photos, videos, catch up with old friends, watch television all day long and still finish all chores. But is this truly the best use of our time? With all these changes in our lives, what really has happened is that we barely need to move our butts and work. I have only one small advice to share ~ realize that you are blessed with additional time, use it wisely to improve your and your neighbor’s lives, slow down and enjoy the silence around you, learn to live without a computer because tomorrow if your memory crashes, your phone/computer’s memory also crashes with it because you are the only one with all passwords. Use this additional time to develop more hobbies, take up a second job, feed the poor and educate the world around you. Sometimes, it is just as much fun to write a snail mail to your loved ones instead of the usual phone call, to go to the airport and purchase a flight ticket, to visit the bank and withdraw cash, to grind the food by hand and skip the gym and to read a paper back instead of an e-book. Trust me, you will love it!