Are We Happier Than Our Forefathers?
In today’s world, were science is progressing every minute and we are taking leaps and bounds in every sphere of life, it should not be difficult to answer the question. Certainly we are happier than our forefathers. From a common person’s point of view, we might imagine our ancestors to be working and sweating in the fields the whole life whereas today with a click, we can control many things but a historian knows that our forefathers were born in the age of wars, where there was illness, dread, fear, poverty and depression everywhere. So how can we even think that there could be a feeling of complete relaxation or happiness in them?
We are advanced than our ancestors in numerous aspects, be it education, income or standard of living. Some say that our ancestors were happy, but they would also not agree to leave the luxury and technology of 21st century and live in a village like their forefathers.
A person can only be happy, if he is healthy. Today medical science has evolved and even the cure to once thought incurable disease is known. Bubonic plague is a disease whose treatment is very simple today. But in history, the same pathogen caused the Great Plague in which millions died worldwide. Today, the life expectancy of an average Indian has increased and where there is liveliness there must be happiness.
Moving on, we must remember that a person can only feel good, when he has the potential or money to buy basic necessities and even additional things. He can only enjoy his life when he has nothing to fear and dread about. But we know, our great-great grandfathers were born in British India, under the turmoil of World War II. In that era, most of the resources were exhausted and people went below poverty line, into the economic crisis of Great Depression. They dreaded that any time, there can be a nuclear bomb dropped over their city. But today, we do not have these worries and we are healthier, wealthier, safe and intelligent than our forefathers. With science, today we have every opportunity to progress ourselves and due to it, there is hope and hope brings happiness.
– Utsav Munendra
The youth people feel that they are happier than their ancestors. The present age of India is witnessing tradition along with progress. The young generation is brought up in the culture of smart phones, gadgets, computers, etc.
Some people say that our ancestors lived a stable life and were more happier than us. Science has made our life complicated. Our ancestors had respect for elders, joint family, love and affection for juniors and sympathy for the disabled and those in poverty. Air pollution, random fatal diseases, political violence, and terrorism were not even round the corner. Men lived in peace and amity. Trains, roads and other media of transportation were not packed to suffocation.
But at the same time the life of our ancestors were crowded with superstitions, mass illiteracy, child marriage, etc. We are at least able to mitigate some of the social evils practiced in the society. Thus, our social life doesn’t seem to be as complex as our forefathers.
Our forefathers used to live in open environment. They could take breath in pure atmosphere. But, we have narrow apartments. We cannot move out for evening walk as the roads are crowded with vehicles. The air pollution makes the situation bitter. Even small towns become over laden with smoke and fumes due to the explosion of the modern industry. The environment in which our ancestors used to live was much clean that that of ours.
The progress of science has brought the earth and even the sky close together. The gifts of science, like the mobile phone, car, airplane, telephone, internet, electronic mails, etc. have great impact on our lives. We cannot stay for a single day without our cell phone.
The satellites have expanded the scope of human knowledge. Meteorologists give accurate data about weather and ground conditions for plantation and agriculture. As against this our ancestors lived a life of miserable situation, they would complain. They completely lived at the mercy of nature.
The modern age has taken its birth on the past systems and values. We follow fashion and knowledge together. The world today is thinking to live happily like a family of the human. The modern people want to live happily and don’t believe in superstitions, other narrow beliefs. Happiness for all is the modern philosophy. It is the light of modernism that caste system has been abolished in many countries. We cannot stay happy with social evils such as caste system.
It is true that Modern world has moved forward. The atomic tests and explorations into the space bring in its wake some incurable curses like ozone layer, green-house effects. The consequences are too terrible to recount. Critical diseases like cancer, brain tumor, unnatural births, etc. are like a monstrous threat. The balance is lost.
Instead of thinking on whether we or our ancestors were happier, we should focus on making a balance between tradition, modernity, and growth.
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