Recently, I went to the Edison and Ford’s summer homes when I was in Florida during vacation. After touring their homes and getting a feel for how they lived their lives, I started wondering if I would rather live like I do today or live a life similar to one of these great men of the past.
Surprisingly, I choose the present, and here is why:
- The world is at my disposal because of cheap transportation via the airplanes and airline infrastructure! It’s relatively cheap to fly today versus in the past. The trick in the past would be to even finding a flight to even a small fraction of the places airplanes can take us today!
- I like air conditioning, especially during hot summers like we just recently had! I can imagine that the folks back then were often pretty sweaty during their summers!
- I like central heating! It’s nice have an even flow of heat throughout the house!
- I like the heater in my car! Can you imaging driving to work in the winter (especially if live in the North) without a heater?
- It’s nice to have great inflatable rubber tires! If I lived in the past, I might get stuck in the ruts in the roads that they had back then, especially when it was snowy. which brings me to my next point:
- I like our roads and the fact that they are plowed when it snows!
- Credit and credit cards (like the Chase Freedom credit cards)! Now we too have access to credit like the rich of yesteryear had. While some complain about available credit, at one time the middle class didn’t have such opportunities. Credit is just a tool, what you do with that tool is up to you.
- Modern medicine is huge! The rich back in the days of yesteryear didn’t have it nearly as good as we do with respect to medical treatments!
- Technology, yes as much as I state that we are losing jobs to technology, I still love it! It’s amazing what we can do today versus yesterday. Shoot, I’m not even sure if I can write a paper letter more than a page long anymore. Think about when was the last time you wrote a real multi-page letter to someone where the letter was more than an invitation to an party? Do I even have to mention cell phones, let alone a smart cell phone?
- I love indoor plumbing. Oh they has some systems back then (think outhouses), but still, we have it better.
- And then there are all of the recreational activities! boating (not the slow boring type of the past either), jetskiing, snowmobiling, affordable snow skiing, parasailing, and the list goes on and on!
- And finally, the Internet! Yes this is a part of technology, but it’s so much more than that! Currently, we surf the web, email each other, play games, blog, watch movies, listen to music, educate ourselves, fix things via information googled on the internet, socialize, etc… The internet just continues to snowball into bigger and more incredible things.
Actually the Internet really tips the scale! I would bet that we of the here-and-now have been exposed (via the internet) to twice as much as the people in the middle classes of Edison and Ford’s era!
As much as the media complains about how bad the middle class has it today, I wouldn’t switch places with someone that was rich just 40 years ago, let alone over 100 years ago!
Sometimes we need to sit down, look around, and realize how incredible we really have it!
I say enjoy the here-and-now before it has come-and-gone!
So here is to a great weekend, now it’s time to enjoy it!