It can’t be denied that the world has progressed in all spheres of life by leaps and bounds. Our life, these days, is certainly more comfortable than that of our forefathers. And yet, the question is we happier than them? A comparison the life at the time of our forefathers and the life as it is lived today will, undoubtedly, raise the mystery-curtain.
In the by-gone days, our forefathers had to travel on foot for long distances, or used the bullock-carts for this purpose; therefore, communication and personal contact between People of different villages was very limited. But now the situation is absolutely changed. Today, we have the most sophisticated means of transport and communication.
We can travel long distances not only on land by means of a motor car or a bus but over the sea in ships and through the air in aeroplanes. The barriers of distance, high mountains or long stretches of deep water, have lost their importance. We can converse with our friends and relatives anywhere in the world using telephone, telegraph, fax, e-mail, or internet.
We have strong, sturdy, comfortable houses in which we live in, whereas, our ancestors lived in mud houses, which were, of course, naturally, warm in winter and cool in summer. However, they were airless and far less comfortable than modern houses. They also tended to collapse and dissolve during the rainy season.
We have amenities like the refrigerator to preserve and cool perishable food stuffs. We have all kinds of electrical gadgets to help us swiftly complete our work with ease and speed. The washing machine, the dish washer, the vacuum cleaner, the mixer-grinder, the micro-wave oven and so on have all been designed to help the housewife complete her work in the shortest possible time. Our ancestors could not even dream of such highly useful appliances.
And to keep us joyfully busy during our leisure-time, we have the television and video to entertain us, if we do not have inclination to go to a cinema show. We can pursue hobbies, like photography, which again was unknown to our ancestors.
The highly sophisticated inventions at our disposal today would seem like miracles to our forefathers. The progress & medicine has increased our life-span and conquered the most devastating diseases like smallpox, cholera, polio and tuberculosis, which were considered fatal in earlier times.
We have the most remarkable machinery such as the CAT scan, electro cardio-gram and so on to check-up the organs of the human body. The x-ray gives an accurate photograph of any internal part of the body. Progress in technology has given us the best of roads, bridges, cars, buses, trains, aeroplanes and contributed a lot to the industrial development. All this was missing in ancient times.
Our entire life-style has undergone a complete transformation. Even the position of women is very different now. They are no longer confined to the four walls of the home but work shoulder to shoulder with men. Art and culture are now highly developed. In fact, no aspect of life has remained untouched these days by modernization.
But the tragedy is that in spite of all this progress, happiness and contentment are still eluding us. We have lost peace of the mind, contentment and tranquility that was the hall-mark of life of our ancestors. They had to labour for their food and shelter. They had to endure the hardships brought on by unpredictable, hard weather conditions but managed it all beautifully.
They had never seen the modern world of today, yet they were content with the little that they had. They thanked God for the bread they ate only with an onion or a green chili, and the shelter they had over their heads. Not for them was the selfish, capitalist rat-race of making money. Today, we have everything that life can offer, but the world:
“Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help from pain.”
Our ancestors were indeed, far happier than we are in the present-day world.