Recently I read a book, “A Million Years in a Day”. Now this book is not a guide to enjoying life. The author, Greg Jenner, (a Brit with degrees in history) gives us the history of our day-to-day activities. Food, sleeping, clothes, hygiene (he covers this the most I found), housing, communication, etc. It was enjoyable to read.
It should come as no surprise that living in the past was much tougher for the common person. Go back far enough and a common person today lives a longer easier life than even a rich person back then. On average life spans have increased in most places. Health care costs keep rising but go back far enough and there was little or no care at any cost. So has life gotten easier?
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Maybe having extra time everyday because we don’t need to hunt or grow our next meal while keeping another eye out for creatures that want to eat us just makes daily life more complicated. More time to worry about stuff.
Our planning stress increased. Communications have sped up and can reach around the whole planet. No news is good news?
First world problems:
Stressing over the tough decision on pizza toppings.
So many craft beers to choose from.
Finding a good parking space.
(Please add your own in the comments if you like)
One subject area I have the advantage of looking back on and have often thought about is parenting. Bringing a new generation to our world is a very special thing. I like to think it always has been. However, I suspect planned parenthood was unknown for 1000’s of years unless you count the planning the royals did for producing the next king. Today I think it's over planned and people are shocked and upset when the universe doesn't follow their plan. Now medical technology has given most of us another thing to plan. I should say “try to” plan.
The word “control” in birth control is deceptive. Seems like birth prevention would be a better term since the conception part is much trickier to achieve. Also even after conception the birth has a risk of not happening.
In addition to the parents, the development of the next generation involves the whole community. Maybe those tribal settings in the ancient past were a better solution for raising the next generation.
Conclusion - not really just guesses
What’s the answer to the big secret of life? I don’t know. I just live here. Could it be that life is always tough no matter how it changes? A new type of swamp with new different types of creatures trying to bite you in the ass.