Today is Ash Wednesday, an important day in the church calendar. It is the start of lent, a six week period for Christians to prepare for Easter, the most important Church holiday. Since I am not here to debate religion, I will now get back to my point of this article.
For lent it is customary in the Catholic church to give up something during those six weeks and that has got me thinking about how good we really have it today in the world.
A little over one hundred years ago, there was no electricity, phones, cell phones, automobiles, airlines, computers, internet, video games, microwave, dishwashers, modern washing machines, radios and television. Yes, some cities had electricity and phones or gas lamps but it was still dark at the farm house out in the countryside. It would not be until the late-1930's -early 1940's that the farms actually started getting electricity. This was accomplished by the area farmers working together in Cooperatives to wire the countryside that the private and public utility companies refused to bring electricity to, hence the rural electric cooperative was born.
Yes automobiles were also around back then, but you had to be rich to be able to afford one!
My wife asked me last Sunday in the car what I would be giving up for lent this year and I joked to her that I will be giving up watching TV. To be honest, I don't watch that much television but she thought that I was completely nuts. Especially when I told her that I was packing away the TV for 6 weeks. I am not really going to give up TV this year for lent, not that I don't think I could do it. It is just not practical.
Seven years ago when I moved to the farm, I came with very little personal belongings, basically a bedroom set, a recycled dining room table, and a used couch some one gave me. I lived here by myself for over a month without a TV set, phone service, and internet service and I managed to survive without those items. By the way, it was also mid-January which in the mid west means winter and snow. This would be inconceivable for most people including my wife who would be bored out of her mind without TV and phone service. By the way the reason I did not have a phone for over a month is because the phone company was over logged with repair call that it took them that long to get my phone turned on and internet service back then came only over the phone lines.
But this got me thinking about what we have today and these following questions ran through my head.
What would happen if you woke up and today's technology had completely disappeared? Would you be able to survive without those items?
Would you be able to grow the food needed to feed your family through the winter?
Without automobiles, we would be back to the horse and buggy! Would you been willing to trade your cars for buggies?
Without tractors, the horse would be used to plow the fields at an acre or two of land a day! It would mean no more industrial corporate farmer planting 20,000 acres with a tractor.
Without phone and internet service, we would have to write letters and send them through the post office or visit them in person.
Without electricity, you would be back to candles, gas and oil lamps.
The Amish down the street from us live this way to this day so I ask, would you be able to survive without today's technology?