Did you ever feel that you were born too early or too late, stuck in a sort of decade limbo? Some of us arrived , prematurely for the spellchecker, (we foolishly learned how to actually spell). Some of us, learned to tell time on a clock dial with the big hand on the four and the little hand on the twelve! Then came digital watches.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to be “Out of Sync”, I’m thrilled that I missed out on Custer’s last stand and the leper colonies. It was a good thing, I wasn’t around for the great Chicago fire, bubonic plague and soup lines, during the Depression, but living in the electronic\technical age, has it’s share of drawbacks. Many of us grew up without the luxury of iPods, Kindles or voice activated computers. We probably utilize a small fraction of their cyber-capabilities.
Being a post-war baby, has enabled me to exist on the verge of historical breakthroughs for mankind; some frivolous, others, crucial. Thankfully, I was born just in time for organ transplants, vehicle air bags, robots and cell phones.
How did anyone exist before multi-functional modern conveniences? Recently, our hot water tank quit working. Our family was transformed back into the dark ages. Being without my dishwasher, washing machine and shower for days, I will never take hot water for granted, again.
It’s true, we barely escaped the guillotine, iron lungs and the Alamo, but we are also reaping the benefits of MRIs, satellite transmissions and plastic surgery. Generations, before us worked hard and long to make way for social changes, that benefit us today . Things, like family and maternity leave, 4 day work weeks and early retirement, were unthinkable, years ago.
Thank goodness, I was not among the early pioneer settlers, who had to toss their belongings into a covered wagon or go across country in a rickety stage coach. They endured many hardships, but maneuvering my car around potholes or getting stuck in a traffic jam, with a full bladder, isn’t my idea of a picnic, either. I’m sure in the not so distant future everyone will have their own individual Segway (self balancing human transportation). Our grandchildren will be amazed that we actually walked to the store or post office, instead of grabbing an electric scooter..
Emotionally, we are stuck between Freud, Dr. Spock and Frasier. Physically, we are sandwiched in between ( the deceased) Jack Lalane, Richard Simmons and gym-rat informercials. It is no wonder that we can’t keep our perspective. Today’s advances are tomorrow’s throw-aways. Do you think our great grandparents could sympathize with us, if our microwave malfunctioned? Would the early pioneers care if our remote control was busted? The nusciences that we find unacceptable would have been a god-send to the cave man. Future generations will laugh at a cable black-out or an electrical outage.
Timing is everything. Research, education and social acceptance are all factors for major new discoveries. We are in a juxtaposition of inventions, that were obsolete before they could get into production and cutting edge innovations that are happening at warp speed. We’ve gone from the stage coach to the space shuttle, dinosaurs to cloned sheep and from pony express to E-mail , in a very short period of time.
I am not overly optimistic, nor presumptuously pessimistic about the future. I’m somewhere “in between.” Since the past was good, the present, even better, I’ve decided to stick around for the unforeseeable future.