Compared to us today, my grandparents never had TV, video, computers, jet planes, and four-figure salaries. Their lives are not cluttered with so many consumer goods that we find today in supermarkets and shopping complexes. For that matter, they never had supermarkets nor complexes. They did their occasional shopping in simple shops, devoid of the express bus or an airplane, depending on the distances involved. London is only a few hours away and the moon is not unreachable. In the days of my grandparents’ youth, travel was a great event. Most people never moved more than fifty miles from their place of birth all their lives. So only a few adventurous people bothered to travel at all. Even for these few, elaborate preparations were needed for the months of arduous travel by land and sea.
It was not unexpected that they never return. Travel during those days was filled with danger. Today we take traveling far distances for granted. The risks are negligible. People are more concerned about whether they travel first-class or economy.
As a whole, life in the old days was simpler. They did not have so many problems that we face today. Diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease were rare. They did not have fast foods and aerobic exercises. I am not saying that their lives were better or worse, only that they were different. They had no TV but they knew one another better. They had no hospitals and died from tuberculosis. They did not have cars nor pollution. We have so many modern benefits but at the same time so many accompanying ills as well. Which period is preferable? Neither, we live in our own inescapable period. We make the best of what we have.
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