Friday, February 26, 2021

Do you feel you were born at the right time?

This is at heart a silly question, because it implies people are either born at some vaguely defined "right" time or they should have lived in another era altogether.

In my opinion, you get what you get and you live when you live for a reason (even if you don't ever understand what that reason is). There is no "wrong" time for you to be here on this planet.

But...I realize many people are convinced they are better suited for living at a different time in history, so for the sake of this post, we'll run with it.

I will go on record as saying I'm perfectly fine with the age in which I'm living, and I'll tell you why.

I listen to a lot of Conan O'Brien's podcasts, and on one episode he said something that struck a chord. He looked at the things he does well and concluded (probably rightly) that in no other era could his individual talents have made him as rich and successful as he is right now in the 21st century.

I get that.

I am by no means rich, and any success I have is much less tangible than Conan's. But honestly, I can't imagine me living in, say, the 16th century.

For one thing, I would have to have a trade, and most trades involve the type of intelligence and/or mechanical and/or manual labor skills that I lack. Badly.

Oh, I know I probably wouldn't starve if I had been apprenticed to a cobbler or mason or anything like that. I would have managed to get to "semi-proficient" in my trade and found a way to support my wife and our 17 children, all of whom would have been living in a hut just outside of London or some such place.

But I never would have been especially good at it.

My skills and interests lie more in areas (writing, communications, etc.) that were the pursuits of a very small upper class until as recently as a century ago. They would have gotten me nowhere when it comes to putting food on the table.

Only here and now, in this age, are there abundant opportunities to put those types of skills to use and generate an income.

So for that reason, I'm thankful I was born in 1969 and not 1569 or sometime in the Middle Ages when my life expectancy would have been (generously) about 35 years.

If you think about it, there's really only a very narrow window in history when knowing the proper usage of a semicolon could earn you a living.

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