“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That phrase
seems to identify just
about every generation ever to stand on the earth’s surface. Surely, we
live in a day when
we could say the phrase fits us better than it did the day it was penned.
There has never
been a time when men feel more pressured, more worked, yet have more money
than they know what to do with. Am I talking about the roaring twenties, or
the forties or
the fifties? Or do I speak of today. It doesn’t matter what answer you
give. Both are
right. Every generation entering this pathway of life thinks their time of
working is a mixture of the best of times and the worst of times. Every
believes their generation has had it the roughest.
We read about ancient times when Solomon was the richest of all men. Yet,
didn’t have the basic utilities we have today. He had no running water or
electricity. If he
wanted a bath, water had to be carried and heated then carried to the royal
bath for the
king. When I was a kid we did that, but the royal bath was behind the
kitchen stove on
Saturday night. He had more money than the gross national product for the
United States, but had not one of the basic conveniences of today. He had no
telephones. That could answer the question of how he got so rich. Solomon
or even weeks for an answer to a message sent to or from one of his
governors. Today we
can send a message around the world and have an answer back within minutes.
if its by instant messenger. Then of course we can always reach into our
pocket and pull
out my mobile phone and call them up. The magical communication watch that
Tracy wore is almost a thing of the past. So you could say except for the
with all our conveniences today, we are all richer than Solomon.
A lot is written about the “good old days”. A lot of people say they would
like to go back
to those days when life was slower and more gentle. People were more honest
neighborly. A time when people cared a lot more for each other and were
more willing to
go that extra mile. A time when even the worst of people still had some
basic good in
them. Is that true or was it just as bad? We had no frenzy feeding press
to dive into the
story and keep it alive on TV and radio for weeks on end.
We are at war today. Fighting terrorism either in some country halfway
around the world
or in our own back yard. It seems there is always a war going on somewhere.
you watch the news or read a newspaper, there seems to be another conflict
with men and countries at loggerheads. When you think about it, there have
wars and rumors of wars. Today we have a way of fighting that has a minimum
casualties. We have lost very few men to actual combat in Afghanistan.
Most of the
casualties are from accidents involving high tech equipment.
We have medicine today that can keep us going long past the life expectancy
of the good
old days. Doctors can even clone life now if they wish. I just hope they
never clone me.
It would be a shame to have two people like me running around. The happy
side of that
would be someone to blame for all the fool things I do.
Travel in the good old days was slow, burdensome and tiring. Today we can
plane and be landing in Europe before our breakfast trays are recovered by
attendants. Not too long ago it was possible to travel, but if it were by
plane or ship, it
was very expensive. Today you can pick up the Sunday travel section in the
find a bargain with rock bottom prices for ships and planes going anywhere.
We can go into a supermarket and buy an apple that was picked off the tree
yesterday in a
country some people don’t even know exists. We can buy clothes made in
china or the
latest fashion from a style shop.
The good old days were the worst of times and the best of times. Today's
world is the
worst of times and the best of times. The politicians it seems have never
crooked, the police have never had their hands so full of problems, the
never been so hard to teach in or to learn in.
Today’s world is fast and furious with instant gratification at the center
of a “me
generation”, but make no mistake about it. I’ll take today’s world. Maybe
I can find a lot
of faults in the “me generation”, but for me, these are the best of times.