Things to ponder on my birthday...

Today is my Birthday - Today's my birthday. Don't you just love my party hat?
@badpenny (741)
Seagoville, Texas
September 7, 2007 2:25am CST
Today I turn a half century old and as I reflect on my life so far, I contemplate the changes the world has gone through since I was born. When I was born, very few people had TV's, and even fewer had color TV's. Telephones were all black, and had dials on them. You had to dial the operator to make a long distance call. Tobacco companies were major advertisers and sponsored many of the television shows we watched. A computer was something the government used, and it was as larger than the house I live in now. Kids did what they were told, and were expected to be seen and not heard. Men went to work and supported their families, women stayed home and took care of the household and very few people got divorced. A car phone was a luxury that only the rich had, and regular folks only knew about them because Perry Mason had one in his car. Most movies were in black and white, and on Saturday mornings, cartoons were on till lunch time. Everybody went to church, and most people never travelled more than 50 miles from home in their lifetimes. The average salary was about $75 a week, in the US, and most employers provided health benefits for their employees. You had to be 21 to vote, to live in your own place and to drink or get married, although you could do the last two with parental consent. Now 50 years later, I marvel at the things we take for granted that were just so much science fiction in 1957, when I was born. Man has walked on the moon, and we have a spacecraft that is sending NASA information from outside our solar system. Students can attend virtually any college they please without leaving their homes via the Internet, something that was only a tiny idea in 1957. Instead of spending hours on the phone talking with friends, teenagers spend hours on their cell phones texting with friends. The list goes on and on, but as I ponder just the evolution of mankind in the past 50 years, I wonder how much of what our ancestors thought impossible will be obsolete in another 50 years. What will cars and computers be like? Will our homes be like those of the Jetson's, or will Artificial Intelligence try to take over the world like in Asimov or Bradbury novels. Will we have colonies on moons and planets in our solar system, or maybe even travel to other solar systems or galaxies? There's no way to know for sure, but I hope I live another 50 years so I can find out.
2 people like this
7 responses
@terri0824 (4991)
• United States
7 Sep 07
Badpenny, I wish you a very happy birthday! You did an excellent job looking back over the last 50 years. I'm not too far behind you in age only four years. Yes, it will be interesting to find out what the next 50 years will bring us!
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
7 Sep 07
Happy birthday! You've entered the most exciting part of your life, as far as I'm concerned. Yes, we have seen many changes over the years, but so did our parents and grandparents. I don't know who said it first, but the saying 'the future is now' is never more true than today. My son just began college and he told me that various colleges have done away with student ID cards. Instead, students are being implanted with a computer chip in their arm. Instead of scanning an ID card at the dining hall, bookstore, etc., they scan their arm instead. I'm sure that's just the beginning of the wave of implanting computer chips in various parts of our body for various reasons.
• India
7 Sep 07
A very very happy birthday to you and since you are a virgo like me, so all the more best wishes. Yes the world has been changing at such a furious pace its kind of difficult to believe the changes around you. Its as if you went to sleep like Rip van Winkle and suddenly you wake up to find that you no longer recognize the world around you. I feel the same as you and more than that, I sometimes think that I cant even recognize the people around me. We have become so selfish and uncaring, we are just not bothered about what happens to our neighbours. And as for in the next 50 years, I think people who can afford it, will start living full-time on the moon LOL! enjoy your day.
@ryzach (1546)
• United States
7 Sep 07
badpenny -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! I have too reached the 50+ mark and remember how things used to be. Everything nowadays feels rushed. Is that because I am older and don't need to get anywhere fast anymore or is everything more fast paced? I think it is more fast paced. The world has gotten smaller as we can travel more places, communicate globally which is a great thing. Email is great but I remember getting letters from my Aunt, holding them in my hands reading and feeling her personality in the ink and paper. I am glad for all the technology especially in medicine yet I think we all yearn for simpler times.
@mizrae (587)
• United States
7 Sep 07
First of all, Happy Birthday. Arriving at the big 50 is no easy feat. I can relate so much to your post. Most families back then had ONE car, and the teen-age driver did a lot of walking. Not only were kids expected to be seen and not heard, they used their imaginations to play, and could wander the subdivisions for hours without worry. And the only reason we had a color T.V. was the fact that my dad put a strip of cellophane on the T.V. that was blue on top, yellow in the middle and green at the bottom.
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
7 Sep 07
happy birthday "badpenny" !! ... the world has changed so much, so fast, hasnt it... for the good... and for the worse, sadly. the weapons they have developed for 'war' is much more devasting than before... and i think they will continue to get even worse.... something that i wish i will never get to see, or experience... me... and my next generation. sorry if i have spoiled your birthday mood.
@JanMags (726)
• Philippines
7 Sep 07
oh this is a wonderful, wonderful piece. very interesting, thought provoking and inspiring. i wasn't born then but i wish i was. life was simpler back then. happy birthday by the way and best of luck on your internet business (visited your website) :)