I think I picked that phrase up from a book I read, but now I cannot locate it.
In any case, the idea is running relentlessly through my head.
Here are some of the questions bombarding me as I ponder and re-ponder this phrase.
What does it mean for me (or for you) to have grown up (or watched others grow up) in a generation where that phrase is sort of true? Where hope sort of equals expecting that if there’s a problem, there’s a solution?
What does it mean for how we suffer or face pain?
What does it mean for our expectations (and how we handle the disappointment when those expectations aren’t met).
What does it mean to live in a time when such a wide array of handicaps hardly have to slow us down? poor eyesight, infections, depression, infertility, geographical distance from loved ones, drought, pests. There are ways to prevent some of these problems, but even when they can’t be prevented they can be fixed with relative ease. Well, sometimes they can’t be fixed, but there are enough options and enough examples of these and other similar problems being solved, that fixing the problems remains a distinct and hopeful possibility to fight for.
And who would want to go back to the time before the fixes? Not me. I’ve tasted a bit of life without quick and easy fixes, having lived in a third world country for some time.
Still, I struggle sometimes. Wondering what price we pay when we boldly walk through life, confident that there IS a fix for every glitch. Wondering, sometimes, if we don’t even notice what some of the solutions are costing us. Not just in the immediate cost, but the deeper implications.
And how do we deal with the tension of an increasing number of solutions, while still facing the reality of so many devastating, unpreventable and unsolvable problems? Am I less equipped to deal with the traumas and losses of my day, because I’ve grown up without even a trace of the fatalism (can a dose of fatalism be healthy?) that comes in places where life is short and hard, for pretty much everyone. I’ve known a few people with incurable diseases. But, really, only remotely. And, really, they were the exception more than the norm in my life.
Does technology and the answers and safety it provides give us more hope? Or leave us feeling more hopeless?
What do you think?
What are some of the fixes you are glad we have in this time and place? How has your life been blessed by fixes your parents or grandparents would not have had? Have there been hidden costs? Have their been technological solutions and advances you took advantage of, which turned out to be more costly than you imagined (not that you necessarily regretted it later, just that you didn’t see the whole price ahead of time? And I’m not talking only financial cost.)