The Best of Times
There is a conspiracy by "The Media" to convince us that these are the worst of times -- rather than as always, the best of times -- as life is getting better as evidenced by there being not only more lives, but as longer lives, as well as many more, living as well as only one person could do previously. That is to say, that the "average" person, now lives like only kings could -- even 50 years ago, maybe even 20. For one thing, the "average" person, now knows as much as only a rare few had access to -- only 20 years ago, and it is this increase in knowledge, that is the greatest measure of one's quality of life, as indicative of choices one has -- unlike the person of a poor quality of life, who has no options.
That used to be the world we lived in -- as recently as 20 years ago, when the World Wide Web was just beginning to include most people in the world -- especially in the developed countries. There, the possibilities of life, multiplied geometrically -- truly limited only by what we knew, and chose to know. This is the major difference between people -- living in these times -- or not. Many can still choose to live in a much more limited and oppressed times -- the times of their grandfathers, and before that, the fathers of their nations.
Such people who are like the proverbial Rip van Winkle who fall asleep for 20 years, and wake up to find that the whole world has changed -- but they have only grown old, and not wiser -- in those last 20 years. So they alone, have not improved, and stayed connected to the current life all around them -- but have cut themselves apart from the vital movement of life that keeps improving -- because that is the way of life. It must improve, or face a certain death, and before then, deterioration because they fail to embrace the opportunities of their time -- by taking in new information, but are convinced that information thousands of years old, have not improved since then, and the caveman's brute force, is still the law of the land, and the arbiter of every difference of opinion and judgment.
Such people think that the only way to settle that difference of perspective, is to fight it out -- until the other is dead, or so crippled and compromised, as to no longer be able to express another perspective -- but the one, that they champion and enforce -- as their station and duty in life. Sometimes entire cultures think that way -- and think it is the only way to think -- and those who don't think so, must be punished and killed, which of course, is the carryover of a medieval times and mentality. Some people are still living that way -- but not those who feel they have all the choices in the world offered in today's marketplace of ideas, goods and services.
That is also the answer to the question of "Where is the Best Place to Live?" In that area that allows one the greatest choices of the possibilities -- and not just the one, so-called perfect one for all times, places and conditions -- that allows no further improvement, no progress in understanding. The solution that may have worked 20 years ago when one was 40 -- may not work when one is 60 -- and rather than accept that that is the way it is, the proper course, is to find a solution that works now. That guarantees that one will live in the best of times -- and not just in some distance past and memory -- that things were perfect before, and never the best of the present -- which now is what one is convinced, is all they can expect forevermore.
Time reveals that what they thought was the truth -- was just a thought, and not the the truth. The truth, is always discovered and revealed in the present moment -- and not simply a remembered thing. That kind of truth, has no validity -- if it doesn't stand the test of the present moment. It is not that people grow old and increasingly incompetent, but that what they knew to be true, has been revealed in time, to be false. It has failed to prove the test of time.
That is why a lot of exercise and practices that seemed to work when one was young, doesn't work when one is older. It is not that the body fails, but the knowledge one was so certain of -- fails spectacularly, when it has to face the ultimate test. One can believe that simply lifting the most weight or running the most miles will keep one young for eternity -- rather than causing most people to abandon their efforts, because they now obviously destroy one's health and viability. At which point, many abandon all efforts -- and fall into the despair of thinking that nothing can be good anymore -- rather than that they need to look for better answers, and that what they thought they knew unfailingly for all time, needs to be rethought, re-examined, relearned -- just as when they were experiencing the best times of their lives -- learning everything because they didn't know everything -- especially all that turned out not to be true, relevant, or valid.
That discovery, is the best of times.