Progress is great. I love so many things about our current age that didn't exist just a short time ago. How did we ever survive without smart phones? How did we manage to get through our days without energy drinks? (I'll get some flack for that.) How did the world manage to turn before the existence of a thousand horsepower hybrid Ferrari? And how will my world turn without one?
But progress has a dark side, too. We live in a far faster paced world than our great-grandparents did. And while some of the results of that pace are fantastic, some of them are devastating. Obesity is a pandemic in America. And our hurry to get stuff done, multitask, and experience more each day has led to that reality. People eat in their cars on the way. People eat while they work. People eat to relieve stress. And worst of all, people eat whatever is instantly available and savory. That often means lots of calories and few genuine nutrients. And on top of that, we're moving less. We sit at our desks or in our cars for hours upon hours every day. And then, because we're stressed or worried, we go home and sit on the couch, while we eat, and escape our lives as we live vicariously through the characters on the screens. Not everyone lives exactly this way, but many of us are not handling the pace of everyday life very well.
In the 1950's futurists predicted that the greatest issues of the 2000's and beyond would be boredom, because it would be so easy to attain everything anyone could ever want. At that time, most households were supported by one wage earner, and most homes were under 1500 square feet in size. People cooked and ate at home, and most families had one car. Today's monstrous homes and three or four car families were inconceivable. They couldn't imagine a world where each adult works well over forty hours and still finds time to encourage each child to engage in multiple sports and extra curricular events every season of every year without ever slowing down.
But that's the world we live in. There are always half a dozen good options for how to spend each minute of every day. And all along the way from those 'good old days' to today, we didn't really notice the changes much as they happened.
So as you face progress today, consider how much you're gaining from it. And how much it is gaining on you.
The 9th Day - 7 Ways