Is life today better than it was in the past? The answer to this question depends on the meaning we give to the word better. If we take it in the sense of the material comforts and material advancement the replay would be in the positive. But if this word better signifies higher values of life such as spiritual advancement peace of mind and happiness the answer would be in the negative. Let us examine both views.
Today we are told that man has progressed wonderfully during the last one century. Things which looked impossible to our forefathers are very common affairs now a days. We are able to perform a journey of thousands of miles in a few hours most comfortabely. We are able to speak to a friend on the other corner of the world. Thanks to the invention of television we are able to see the speaker's form and figure. Electricity is our ever ready maid servant. Or Allahdin's Lamp in our hand. We press a button and it does hundred and one things for us. Medical science has provided wonderful remedies for curing our diseases. Modern surgery has reduced pain and torture of an operation. It has mad it possible to operate upon the very complicated cases in a very easy and confident manner. The radio supplies us the latest news and the speeches of the learned scholars. The huge factories are turning out articles in millions for the use of the common man. When we listen to all these advantages we are tempted to say that life is more comfortable for us than it used to be. But no there is another side of the picture as well.
Today we see that man is not happy in spite of so much progress. As Bertand Russel Says it is not so great a thing to travil at the rate of five hundred miles an hour as the object for which the journey is performed. We have so many factories but we have not been able to banish hunger and naked ness. On the contrary the problem of food and clothing Is becoming acute and acute day by day. The number of people who are starving and naked is simply appalling. Scientific advancement had provided immense comforts for a rich man but nothing for the poor. The economic relations of different classes have created very complicated conditions. There is the class war between the capitalists and the labourers the suggested remedy is communism. But it also usurped all rights from the individuals. The horrible weapons are an impending danger of war.
Ours s a mechanical civilization. It is valued by the laws of machines not by moral or spiritual laws. Man has been changed into a tool into a piece of machine. He has been devoid of finer feelings No one is happy today. Whether a millionaire or a laborer. The peace of mind and contentment enjoyed by our forfathers is gone for ever. The high cost of living the price controls and their failures have made life miserable. Dishonesty selfishness and greediness prevail anywhere. Medicines have been invented to cure us but bombs are there to kill us in millions. So on the whole it is right to say that life today is not better than it was in the past.