Progress

We have made remarkable progress on many fronts in the past 200 years. Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. They now enjoy a life that a king would envy not in the distant past. Yet it behoves us to pause and ask – have we really made progress? How do you measure progress? In health terms, we certainly live longer. In the past century alone, many infectious diseases, the scourge of mankind have been tamed or eliminated. Smallpox for example. You don’t die of a prick or infection anymore. You most certainly do not die at childbirth because your doctor forgot to wash his or her hands. Yet!

We now consume 24 kgs of sugar on average per year. If you are in a developed country  you at the upper end of this average. Our houses are full of contaminants from our laundry, clothes, shoes, shampoo, soap, food and deodorant. The food we eat is likely genetically modified. The jury is still out on whether this is good for you. Our fruits come laden with wax and are injected to look juicy and ripe. Our cities are polluted with the toxic fumes from our vehicles and factories. Report after report talks of the dangers of radiation from our high tension wires to our mobile phones. We no longer are physically active; machines have taken over a large part of our work. We now die of preventable diseases. Its hard to compare to the past but a large part of the human population is stressed and depressed. Is this progress?

You would imagine that this argument could be split down a rich v/s poor. However, even basic research would show that a large part of these challenges equally afflicts the rich as much as it does the poor. Is there a glimmer of hope anywhere on the horizon? If at all, it is the hope that there is a global awakening. Join in, there is plenty of space.