Were we really better off years ago?

AS I write this column, thunder is rattling the windows, rain is pelting down, a severe storm predicted for yesterday, arrived this afternoon.

I sat outside for a while watching the clouds scudding across the sky. Their swirling mass of droplets delivering that life giving moisture to our planet.

I watch as a couple of young boys run around on the parkland, the rain pelting down around them.

Laughing and enjoying the moment, a moment that in time will be lost to them forever.

I got to thinking how many times I’ve heard it said “ I wish I knew then what I know now”.

One minute you’re a kid, playing in the rain, the next an adult with responsibilities, maybe grandchildren that you look after now and again, maybe as a full time carer.

“Life is like a box of chocolates” you never know what you ‘gunna’ get next.

Thinking about those ‘good old days’, were they really that good. Times were tough in some ways, not having the things that make living so easy these days.

For the woman, wife, mother, it was hard, washing day, boiler, ringer, cooking and cleaning. Looking after the children.

Little free time and a holiday occasionally to break the monotony.

No childcare available, no four-day week, just hard yakka.

For the man, a job that kept him busy working maybe forty eight hours a week, with just a couple of weeks holiday a year and few benefits available at the time, for maybe just $40 a week.

Yet today we cry ‘poor’, can’t make ends meet, because the power or water or food or mortgage is expensive. Maybe we are paying off so many other things, those extra clothes we buy and wear only a few times, internet cost because we want Stan or Bing or one of the other service providers.

Or Internet access with lightning speed for our games and ipad.

In days gone by, lots of people had their jobs for life, now days one is free to try out as many careers as they want, because they can.

We are in a changing world, a different world from the times when the ice man brought a block of ice for your icebox, to the milkman calling every day with fresh milk, from the butcher shop with the sawdust on the floor, to the bag of broken biscuits one could buy, and the large bag of hot chips, filled to the brim, each as thick as your finger.

Counting all the electrical appliances we use these days, would exceed 50, including battery powered, which still must be charged frequently.

Where is all the power going to come from?

Yes, there must be and will be big changes coming to our grandchildren’s lives, let’s hope that their children are ready for this transition.

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