Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

We tend to think of progress in terms of things getting better. Leaving behind old, outdated ways of living and embracing new and exciting ways to improve everything. For most of us, on a purely material level, that idea seems to fit. We live more comfortable lives, travel more easily, have more food. Cures have been found for many diseases, we live longer and are so much happier - - really?.

Do material improvements make you happier? Hand on heart, do you think you are happier than your grandparents? It is difficult
not to relate quality of life with material improvement. After all if you are financially better off and can afford more things it must be better, mustn’t it?

We buy weekly lottery tickets in the vague hope that we might win millions of pounds and the all our troubles would be over.

“I would buy a new house, a car and travel round the World”. Whoopee! So you have your car and your fancy house. You’ve been round the World three times.
At the pub

Could it be that your new dream would be to have a beer in the pub with your neighbours,
sit with your feet up and watch the tele? Even mow your own lawn and clean your own house. What happened to the dreams you had of owning your own small business and making it work. You can now buy ten small businesses and employ someone to run them for you, sadly it simply isn’t as much fun and you know it wouldn’t make you happy..

Youngsters dream of being Pop Stars, surrounded by an adoring public; earning thousands and at last being happy. If that’s the case why do we read of so many unexplained deaths amongst famous musicians and singers. Could it be that the newly found fame eventually crumbles to dust in their fingers?

But back to progress. I can only see it as a mountain shaped line. Whether you apply it to a tree, a human being, a civilisation, or a species, initially progress is upwards. Take your own life. Assuming you have passed what we might call mid-life, when was your ‘Peak’? Eighteen, Thirty, Forty-five? Life is still OK but do you now feel you are on the downhill slope?

Politicians and World Leaders think they are in control.

They think their actions and decisions shape the future. In Britain at the moment financial experts are forecasting a range of results after we leave the EU. Just a passing thought - are these the same experts who failed to forecast the financial crisis of 2008?.

Stuff happens. We think we are in control but still stuff happens. A bit like progress, it just rolls inexorably forward. No matter if the human race likes it or not, on it goes at what appears to be a faster and faster rate not, apparently under our control at all but in some magical way as though it has a will of its own. Perhaps we are way past the top of the mountain and are rushing at breakneck speed down the other side towards who knows what.

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