Are we happier than our forefathers — the remark is a puzzling one and so, cannot be answered categorically. Opinion remains divided on this subject because the world of today is quite different and much improved than that of the world a century ago. If our ancestors wake up from the eternal sleep, they would be wonderstruck to see the marvellous changes brought by science during this century, and would really envy our life.
The question is, are we happier than our forefathers? My answer is yes. Our ancestors had to experience inconvenience and trouble. There were no good schools and hence they could not receive proper instructions. They remained illiterate. They were unaware of the civil and hygienic rules, and the result was that they suffered from many diseases. There were no hospitals and people died premature deaths.
They were superstitious. They went even to the extent of sacrificing human beings in order to appease the deities. There were no good means of communication and conveyance. When the people left for a place of pilgrimage, it took them months to reach there and they parted with their near and dear ones as if they would not come back. At the time of calamities, be it floods or earthquakes, the people of one region could not help those of the other. There were so many difficulties of this sort, which the people, a century back, had to face.
But now things have changed. Electricity, the fairy child of science, has done much for the comfort of the modern man. There are motor-cars, aeroplanes, trains and so many other means of conveyance. Wireless and radio have done a lot to keep the world well-informed of news. Distance means nothing these days. Schools and hospitals are functioning. More people are getting educated. Electricity has helped much in domestic affairs.
A house-wife dose does not feel any difficulty in cooking and washing of clothes. Life has become comfortable and worth living. By the invention of x-rays, many internal diseases are detected without much pain. By means of trains and aeroplanes, we can send help to the famine-stricken or the flooded areas. After the day’s hard life when we listen to the sweet songs on the radio, we feel much relaxed and soothed.
Modern scientific implements have increased agricultural output. The world no longer suffers from the short age of any kind. Every possible effort is being made to increase literacy. People are not superstitious. They have developed a scientific attitude towards every problem relating to their lives. The use of telescope has also made things easy. People have learnt the laws of hygienic life and live a longer span of life. In the world of literature also, the geographic! boundaries have been crossed. Eminent writers, poets, novelists and essayists are universal. They do not belong to a particular race or country.
Their works are studied and enjoyed by all the lovers of literature living in any corner of the world. Every possible effort is being made to bring peace and prosperity. Hence, the world now is a better place to live in than it was a century ago because science has brought the kingdom of God on earth. This earth has become a paradise where every comfort and facility is provided by the scientific off-shoots and discoveries and inventions. Thus, the man of today is certainly healthier, more cheerful and far happier than his forefathers.