How is today’s world compared to the 21st century you imagined as a child?

This is a very difficult post for me to write on as I simply did not dream of a 21st Century as a child.

My dreaming of any kind of future as a child was to dream about some toy or game that I was promised by one of my parents or a very dear uncle.

As a school going teenager, I dreamt of finishing school and getting out of the discipline that it entailed. Since I was in the Naval Wing of our National Cadet Corps, I thought that a way out of further studying was to join the Indian Navy and that is what I tried to do immediately after I wrote the last examination for the School Finals. My dream was shattered when I failed the Medical Test due to my myopia.

Then I simply stopped dreaming about the future and got busy surviving on a day to day basis. I have written about somethings that just happened to me that propelled me into a corporate career which landed me up finally in Pune where I have been living for the past more than thirty years very comfortably and without dreaming about any kind of future.

The last couple of things that I had dreamed of were to go on an all India motoring trip with my late wife and living in a farm house, both of which fell through due to her illness and prolonged need for home nursing.

These existential realities brought me into the 21st Century with a determination not to dream at all about the future and accept what comes with gratitude and joy and that attitude has given me a comfortable and peaceful life till now.

I hope that my readers will now understand why I started off this post with “This is a very difficult post for me to write on…”

The fact remains that the 21st Century that I see now is vastly different from the time when I was a child all of seventy plus years ago.  In retrospect, I still go all nostalgic for those days.  Typical of ancient specimens like me and perhaps even my two cohorts who will also be writing on the same topic today.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 3 On 1 blog posts where Conrad, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by Conrad. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.

13 thoughts on “How is today’s world compared to the 21st century you imagined as a child?”

  1. As a teenager in the sixties, when there was a ferment of progressive thinking and initiatives, I fondly imagined the 21st century would be a wonderful paradise of gentle, generous people all living together in perfect harmony. Fifty years later and I’ve been severely disillusioned by the rather grim world we’re actually living in. At least my personal life has gone extremely well, much better than I imagined back in my teens.

    1. As a teenager, I was getting knocked around to make a living and get myself an education too. I had no time to worry or dream about the future as I was busy with those as well as having a good time.

  2. Inall honesty I did not dream ahead either. I have always been a geek of sorts though so I was interested in the things I discussed in my blog. It also bothered me a bit that changes happened most often during a war. Like Nick,I hoped for peace and prosperity. I am disheartened by the lack of civility. We have the potential for spectacular advances but we shall see.

    1. Lack of civility is what has been the most significant development over the last decade or so even here and I am glad that I am out of the rat race and unaffected directly by it.

  3. This post wasn’t suggested by Shackman, lol. Ah, the life I live in the big man’s shadow!

    It totally makes sense to me why this was a difficult topic for you. Neither your nor my experience is better than the other, but they are reflected in different ways of apprehending the world. That is part of what draws me to your writing and our friendship, those differences. Cheers!

  4. Imagined world but nothing much seemed to go to plan, maybe because I don’t screw/nail down all the parts that would have the dream come to fruition. But on the whole, now I understand that most of it was just a “dream anyway” and mostly I’m happy with my lot, when I’m well and healthy. And even now when I’m not crash hot, I seem to be accepting certain things can’t change right now…

    One of things now that irritate me is the young people who were not bought up in quite the way I was.

    Just yesterday we witnessed this group of lads at the bus stop, one had a paper cup of drink and he just threw it on the ground – when the bin was not 6′ from him. One of my bus friends, a woman much older than me picked it up – right in front of their eyes, gave them a look and took it to the bin. The other lady beside me said “why didn’t you say something” and the woman said “because I’m afraid as such, the lads may have hit me”

    Or you are going into a shop and instead of holding the door for you to enter, the young person will just push past you and almost slam the door in your face. Someone once told me that if you do push some ethnic groups, they actually are embarrassed and stand back…I did that once when I was at Uni and it was hilarious at the apology I received.

    And a few years ago, I saved a young Asian woman from being run over, but at the very minute she was angry with me. She was talking on her phone, and was about to step out on a side road when I knew she wasn’t looking – I put my arm out to stop her… after the car was gone, she and I crossed, she was still jabbering away in her phone and had certainly hurried off. Then she turned around and came back and apologised. It appeared she had told her invisible person and then been told go back and apologise. I said in her response “better you’ve alive than under that fast approaching car” to which she then said sorry again…

    Of course, there are many who don’t do that but they are usually foreigners – they will offer you a seat on the bus/train; hold open a door; let you go first when you really don’t have that right etc.

    Is it how I imagined, if I had imagined at all – I don’t think so…maybe I thought it would be more modern but whether this fast paced, have no idea. It evolved I guess, well it did – I don’t have a dial phone anymore, nor a bulky modem that meant no incoming phone calls, I don’t even have to go into the bank to withdraw money, I’ve a card and there is a machine on a wall…etc
    Catherine de Seton recently posted..I have a DATE!

    1. That is simply the longest comment that you have ever posted here Catherine and I am delighted to see how much thought has gone into it. You have hit the nail right on the head about modern youth. I observe this over here too and I am appalled at the total lack of civic sense and manners as we used to call behaviour. Value systems have changed. People simply do not have the time to observe such niceties.

      1. thanks…

        I suspect a lot of the “home taught values” are not taught, because so many parents are now “both at work” and so many young people become “latch key kids” (meaning they have a key to the front door) and then come home to an empty house. Because Mom is at work until later…by the time the parents come home, the child is engrossed in their digital games…

        I know a guy who is in his late 70s now who was a latch key kid, not as a very young boy, but when he was in grammar school. By then his Mother had taught him how to fend for himself so his cooking often involved bacon and eggs … (British staple in his teen years)
        Catherine de Seton recently posted..I have a DATE!

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