Statistics matter. They bring you far closer to the truth than supposition or deduction. This said, consequence is also a good measure of reality. How things are, just are, is a good thermometer of our times.
Well, I grew up in a period where going to the stadium was as easy as getting there, finding your seat, ordering some peanuts, et voila. Same for flying, we would take a cab to the airport, walk to the check in, leave our bags, walk to the lounge and then board the plane, usually with nothing more than a smile, not even a boarding card or a ticket would be needed.
What’s changed is the complexity of the process, the layers of security, the rush and the anxiety associated with risk. These are not innocent times. Does that mean there is greater danger? Is crime higher? Does terror kill more people today than ‘before’? Like I said, the statistics matter but so do day to day experience and I am hard pressed to find experiences today that are better than in my youth. Granted, we have the internet, smartphones, shorter travel times and better quality eye glasses. But do we have better experiences? Are the restaurant outings with the family better? Are car trips across the country better? Is buying online or in a mega store a more fulfilling experience than buying from your neighborhood grocer or hardware store?
This is not a nostalgic manipulation exercise. This is not a tear shed for better times. This is simply a question that I ask myself and you. In our own lifetime, for those of us in our later years, did we once live in more innocent times? And if we did, was it better? And if we did, should we long for similar days ahead? As for our children, do we wish them their times or ours?
Thinking of going to a football game this weekend, have to make sure my pockets are empty and I have no sharp objects.