It’s funny; if you go to Google and search “best time to be alive”, what will appear is probably exactly what you’d expect. Of course, there are many reasons why we might want to be living in the 20s, or the 70s or 80s, but when it comes down to it, the consensus choice for time of living is in the present — right now. We are at the pinnacle of equality, human literacy and hunger rates, infant mortality, and countless other categorical data that quantifies quality of living. There is no possible way to quantify an individual’s life and their optimal years of life, but both surprisingly and unsurprisingly, now is a pretty good time to be here. Many would reason that the Millennial generation would be incomplete without their Starbucks, smartphones, and laptops, and while this may be true, many wish that they lived in a time without worries of global warming, student loans, and nuclear threats from North Korea. Be that as it may, from the perspectives of such authors as Richard Fisher from BBC, Will Heilpern from Business Insider, and even Tom Chivers of Buzzfeed, 2016 was possibly the best year to be living.
Up next to be the best year? 2017. It only gets better. This is clearly situational; if you’re a man whose principal ideal is racism, then the year that was rated the best for racial equality may not be the best time period for your interests. Relativity has it, however, that any person born at this moment is more likely to have an opportunity to have a good life than ever before. If you’re more than fifteen and you’re reading this opinion piece, you’d be halfway to being dead in Ancient Greece. If you’re alive and you’re reading it, you beat the odds by a factor of twenty in the 1800s. The fact of the matter is, you’re more likely to be here, right now, than ever before, and you are far more likely to live a long and prosperous life. If you want to live in the 80s because you feel their culture was far more aligned with your interests, perhaps you should consider the presence of asbestos as an insulator in this decade as a reason not to go back. The 20s were an amazing golden age of economic prosperity and excellent personal health, unless, that is, you were anything other than white.
If you’ve ever wished you lived in another time, take a step back and take a wider view. This point of view may not be your best. Be happy about where you are, and make a commitment to make 2018 even better than 2017. The more you commit to making your life better, the more you will enjoy it, and the more everyone else will agree with your enjoyment.
Photos by anieto2k,
Photo by Pardesi*
Photo by anieto2k
Your post brings up some good points, you all too often hear teenagers unironically saying they were “born” in the wrong generation … through their smartphones that they can’t function without. It’s all too easy to take how advanced society has become for granted. The fact that most people can just acknowledge that everyone wants to be happy and allows others to live peacefully is a simple yet important thing. Hopefully the world continues to improve and the future continues to be progressively a better and better time to live in, the planet is going to start to really feel overpopulation, climate change, and related issues over the next few decades.
I am envious of how good of a writer you are. Aside from that, I really like your message. I believe it’s human nature to want we don’t have, but in cases such as these, it’s important that we have a healthy perspective. The reality is that the roaring 20s, the milkshake 60s, and the funky 80s are all glorified in the movies we watch, the books we read, the music we listen to. It’s not frequently emphasized the injustice that plagued these retro periods, painting a picture of only the things we want to remember. We are extremely fortunate to be living in such a modern age where we have progressed further and further away from the inequality tainting past decades, and to whoever truly wishes they lived in the earlier twentieth century, perhaps they should spend less time daydreaming and more time cracking open a history book.
I also agree with Emma you are a phenomenal writer! I liked how you said, “Relativity has it, however, that any person born at this moment is more likely to have an opportunity to have a good life than ever before.” I can agree that we back in time when people were segregated by color, race, and gender it was very bad a horrific, today this segregation isn’t as much a problem today as it was when comparing these two times to then and now. I also would add that this quote lead to me to the idea that we are at a time of transcendence on how an individual person define a man and woman. What I mean is today we have gender fluid people which is “a person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender.”- a way to classify a person like this didn’t exist 50 years ago, and I’m very happy that we have come to believe that life can flow differently than at a biological level. I found this video also by BuzzFeed to be very helpful and eye opening to how we should look at people https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Zem9ILPbc .