Change sometimes sneaks up on us and, we find, sometimes it is taken for granted. Here on this page we focus attention on it and still find ourselves taking many things for granted.
We have all known many people visibly affected by change, often without even knowing what affected them so strongly.
This message from an email I received summed up many changes over time. Focused on the past 100 plus years, it shows how much some things have changed. In fact there are people today who will have experienced many of the events mentioned. Even I have experienced many of these changes, and I’m not that old!
Most of what is written here comes from the US, but for many years we had virtually identical experiences, so I don’t hesitate to use the material.
You can use this to remind yourself and even show your kids how change has been extremely rapid for a century, not only during their own lifetime. Remember, the speed of events is accelerating, but the speed is irregular. We don’t know how fast this acceleration is. However, I have heard that right now change is happening about four times as fast as a century ago. The changes in the next 25 years will equal those in the past hundred.
For me, this does two things. First, it helps me understand a bit of why children today are as they are. Much of what we experienced in our early years just doesn’t happen today. Likewise, most of what is available today did not exist when many of us were kids. The result is that they don’t have the chance to experience life as we knew it. The second thing it shows me is that life is changing so rapidly most of my clients are caught in a whirlwind they don’t understand and can’t even see!
Look at this list and reflect. Think of some other changes not listed here. There have been plenty and this list is only a small number of the most obvious ones! It makes the point, though.
The year is 1910, one hundred and three years ago. The car is so different it couldn’t be driven by most people living today, and it would be incredibly slow!
• Average life expectancy for US men was 46 years. In Canada it was just over 50.
• Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only. There were no service stations.
• Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
• Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. Cell phones, of course, didn’t exist.
• There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
• The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
• The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
• The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents an hour.
• The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
• A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
• More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.
• Ninety percent of all Doctors had no college education! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as ‘substandard.’
• Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs fourteen cents a dozen, coffee fifteen cents a pound.
• Many women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
• Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.
• The five leading causes of death in 1910 were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
• The American flag had 46 stars. Canada used the English flag or variants of it.
• The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30!
• Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
• There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
• Two of 10 adults couldn’t read or write, 6 per cent of Americans finished high school.
• 18 per cent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
• 230 reported murders in the entire USA!
If you are reading this online, you could now forward it to someone else without typing it yourself. From there, it could be sent to hundreds others, all in a matter of seconds!
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years!