Reflections: A wrong way

  • 2019

Every time I get stuck in traffic and look around, I think of the millions of people around the world who lose precious hours of their lives every day in that same situation. Something similar happens to me when I open my email and see hundreds of unopened emails for "lack of time" and what to say about the activities that we accumulate on our pending list for the same reason. All this leads me to think that at some point humanity took a wrong path, that every day moves us further away from that ideal of well-being that many of us dream of.

If we review how man has modified his lifestyle throughout history, we find some key events that have generated great changes. The first of these was the invention of agriculture and livestock, when we went from being nomadic hunters and gatherers to sedentary farmers and farmers, which served as the basis for the birth of the first villages, which served as headquarters for the first markets of exchange of products of the agricultural and livestock activity, giving rise to commercial activity as another key fact in the history of man. The importance of trade was that no longer all the members of a village had to devote themselves to agriculture and livestock, being able to devote themselves to other activities such as pottery and iron and steel. Until that moment, all these changes contributed to generating a positive balance in the progress of humanity.

When the first towns began to grow in the number of inhabitants, the first problems of water supply and especially of waste management of the population began to arise, so that large cities settled around large rivers or lakes that they served as sources of water supply, but also as sewers for waste disposal. I think this is perhaps the first point at which we began to take the wrong path, because of the pollution that this generated in the water sources.

Another major milestone that generated important changes in our lifestyle was the industrial revolution, with which artisanal work was replaced by mechanized work in industries, which displaced more and more labor from the countryside to the cities where These factories were installed, with the consequent growth of them and with them the magnification of the problems of services and pollution that already brought the large towns.

While it is true that the industry and the technological development that has come with it have given us all the comforts of modern life that we have today, it is no less true than the price paid by the planet and we with it in terms of pollution It is very tall. Not counting the price that we have paid directly to us with a much more hectic life, with high levels of stress and with very little availability of time for enjoyment. I consider this to be the second crossroads where we are wrong the path we take. Not because of the industrial development itself, but because of its impact on the pollution of the planet and our rhythm of life.

Then came the information age, propelled by the invention of computers, artificial communication satellites and of course the internet, which allow us to keep us informed and informed in real time 24 hours a day, virtually anywhere on the planet. This global network produces a volume of information on any subject impossible to process by any human being, which generates a very high stress on those who fight the losing battle of keeping updated in their fields of interest. In this case, I don't see the problem in the way we take, but in the way we act and feel in front of it.

I mention only these four milestones as generators of great changes in our lifestyle, but of course there are others that have had very important effects on the history of mankind, for example:

  1. The discovery of fire and its use to cook food, thus lowering the energy required to digest it and leaving it available for brain development and, of course, the use of fire for the manufacture of weapons and tools based on metals.
  2. The invention of writing, which allowed keeping records, facilitated communication, the transmission of knowledge and the expression of new ideas.
  3. The invention of the printing press, which massified access to information and knowledge, previously limited to a privileged few.
  4. The discovery of antibiotics, which significantly increased our life expectancy.
  5. The invention of means of transport such as train, airplanes, motor vehicles, which shortened distances, facilitating communication and commercial exchange between the villages.

I think that the next major key events will be genetic engineering in which there are already important advances, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, which are practically in their infancy. In them we must be careful not to take again wrong paths in their development.

With all the above it seems that I do not agree with the progress that we have had through these great events, but it is not so. My vision is not that we have to live away from civilization and without enjoying the comforts of modern life, but the idea is not to live with several cell phones, one for each telephone operator there are In our country, in case any of the communication platforms falls, constantly connected to our work and personal emails and to any social network that exists to keep us informed 24 hours in real time.

I think that when what happens outside prevails over what happens in our lives, something is not right . I think that with the advances we have today in knowledge and technology we should be able to give ourselves a lifestyle that not only includes material progress but also spiritual progress, with a pace of life less stressful and with more time for enjoyment and without the risks we have today to end our chances of survival on the planet. Of course, this means breaking many paradigms and, above all, setting aside many particular interests for the greater interest of a more human humanity.


Author : Juan José Sequera. Author of the White Brotherhood family

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