“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …” ~~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Three of my sons and I were together a couple of times this past week. It’s been a long time. The oldest lives in São Paulo Brazil, while another is in Los Angeles, and my youngest in Provo, Utah. All are leading busy lives. Going to school, working jobs, building empires.
During my last visit with just my son Matt, before he returned to São Paulo on Saturday, we talked about how people believe we live in the worse of times. Blame it on the media we agreed. With modern technology, news stories, photos and videos from any part of the world comes to us in an instant and on devices we carry in our pockets.
It’s not like it was when I was growing up. In those days, there was but a single daily newscast from the television networks, then just ABC, CBS or NBC. Local broadcast news was just as sparse and none of them more than half-an-hour. Radio was a bit more in-depth, but there were no pictures! That was it for broadcasting, no smartphones, no alerts, no nothing! Add the daily newspapers, where it was believed the most informed would get their fill of current events. The Washington Post, The Evening Star were thick dailies and hugely powerful companies. That was then, this is now.
What we knew about the world was limited and not very timely. The world seemed a much larger place and we were insulated from its harsh realities, while now we have become desensitized to the same. No one could have imagined what lay ahead. Certainly our grandparents lived in simpler times, but in reality we aren’t living in the worse of them. However, with the dissemination of what goes on around, us so readily available and graphic, we often think otherwise.