It can’t be denied that the world has progressed in all spheres of life by leaps and bounds. Our life, these days, is certainly more comfortable than that of our forefathers. And yet, the question is we happier than them? A comparison the life at the time of our forefathers and the life as it is lived today will, undoubtedly, raise the mystery-curtain.
In the by-gone days, our forefathers had to travel on foot for long distances, or used the bullock-carts for this purpose; therefore, communication and personal contact between People of different villages was very limited. But now the situation is absolutely changed. Today, we have the most sophisticated means of transport and communication.
We can travel long distances not only on land by means of a motor car or a bus but over the sea in ships and through the air in aeroplanes. The barriers of distance, high mountains or long stretches of deep water, have lost their importance. We can converse with our friends and relatives anywhere in the world using telephone, telegraph, fax, e-mail, or internet.
Happiness is a state of mind. If there's something money can't buy, its happiness. Compared to these days, I strongly feel, that out forefathers were happier. Their life was simple, their needs minimal. They had less expectations. Their days started with the morning sun and ended with the setting sun. They listened to the chirping of birds as they tilled their fields, breathing the fresh air around. The pristine beauty of Nature, with its greens, the golden harvests, the flowers, the fragrance-added colors and substance to their lives.
In short, they had time and the sensibilities to appreciate and marvel at the wonderful things God has blessed us with. After a day's hard work, the simple meal served on the home platter was relished by our forefathers. Organic food with unpolluted water-fresh and healthy! What would we not give for such a luxury!
The simple life-style our forefathers led, kept them away from diseases. The sheer routine of their life with oodles of exercise never allowed them to become obese. Diabetes and heart burns were unheard of Cooling devices and heaters never sucked up the oxygen around. A big fire in the center kept their huge family warm; the fronds above fanned them in summer to keep them cool and fit. The big joint families of the olden times shared their joy and sorrows, helped each other in hours of need, and shared responsibilities.
Children grew up in the lap of Nature, under the protective supervision of their elders. How unlike the children of today's nuclear families where parents go to work and children are left to the care of domestic help or in the company of modern gadgets! Festivals and weddings used to be occasions for the huge extended family to come together and enjoy. They were extended holidays; unlike the hurried two day affairs in five star hotels amidst filmy settings! Festivals like Holi were played with natural ingredients made from fragrant flowers and leaves. It kept away skin rashes and eye sores. Spurious drinks did not take away lives on Diwali nights. What if our forefathers had to walk miles to reach their destinations, what if they had to till their land in scorching sun, what if they were not able to travel around the world?
The truth is that they led a contented life. Contentment, the chief ingredient for happiness! Do we have it? Can we ever hope to get it? Coming to think of it, I feel, our forefathers were stress free, guilt free, more innocent, led uncomplicated life and consequently were much, much happier than us.