Saturday, February 24

When Life Was Simpler And Progress Just a Word

Once there was a milk carton, and it had a lid. For years this milk carton was the only one available and people were happy. Then someone extremely clever invented a carton that has no lid. The opening and the countainer are one. That carton is a breakthrough even though you cannot open it, and if you do, the milk dribbles out in ways you cannot predict. (This is called progress)

Once there was something called the telephone company. This phone company basically offered just one model telephone, usually black but if your phone broke, a man came to your house and fixed it. Then someone invented a better phone company. It offered many kinds of phones and services, most of them you don’t need. No one comes to your home to fix your phone. (This is called progress)

Once there was something called a bank teller. The trouble was that the teller only worked from 9 to 3, so long lines formed. Then someone invented the automatic teller machine and so now, instead of waiting in line inside the bank, you wait outside the bank and often get charged to make a transaction. (This is called progress)

Once there was something called a paper bag. Groceries were put in it and, when emptied at home, it could be used to start fires in the fireplaces or as a garbage bag. Then someone invented the plastic bag. It cannot be burned. It will stay intact for thousands of years. It’s too small to be used as a garbage bag and, full of groceries, it topples over in the truck of a car. (This is called progress)

Once there was something called a watch. It had a minute hand an hour hand, and one was longer than the other. Most people thought it worked just fine, and maybe the best thing about it was that if your watch isn’t working, you could glance at someone else’s watch. Then someone invented the digital watch. This meant that you could not read someone esle’s watch. It also meant that when daylight-saving time came or went you had to devote many hours to resttling the thing. (This too, is called progress)

Once there was a rule. It was “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Then, someone decided that the rule was silly, and so all sorts of things that worked perfectly well fixed so that they don’t work well anymore. (This is now called progress. It used to be called stupidity)

About Author

Thomas Neal was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a bookseller before shifting to publishing where he worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for millennials, and as a book reviewer of adult and young adult novels. He lives in New York City and is obviously a voracious reader. He has just released his debut novel and working on his second already!

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