While I was pondering the state of everything recently, I had a thought that made me really stop and consider it.
Call it a hunch, but I believe the human race would be OK overall if there’s a comprehensive collapse of society as we know it, and life would go on just fine without all the technological excess we’re so bound down to these days.
You might scoff, but that belief stems from the fact that mankind has time and again proven its adaptability over the years. And never mind history, there are numerous present-day examples of human beings’ ability to live in widely varying circumstances.
Right now there are people living in regions of the planet that are so cold that ice, snow and frigid temperatures don’t even spur a second thought. At the same time, there are other people living where the temperature is always hot, water is always scarce and growing crops or raising animals is a constant challenge.
Meanwhile, there are others circling the globe in a spacecraft, toiling miles underwater in a submarine, or sitting behind a desk 1,000 feet or more off the ground inside a titanic structure. No other known life form can survive in such wide-ranging environments.
So, what if we didn’t have access to all the “modern” stuff we’re all used to? I’d say it might take a while to get into a new routine, but we could do it.
What if you didn’t have that dang electronic “device” in your pocket or purse? You’d be free from it, and be able to focus on aspects of life outside of the vortex it sucks you into numerous times every day (or hour).
What if you didn’t have that car or truck? You wouldn’t have to worry about gas prices, and you’d probably soon acquire a good locally-built wagon and a couple or horses, and in no time you’d know what you were doing with them.
What if you didn’t have that credit card? You also wouldn’t have that bank account to keep track of and you would quickly realize the value of actual currency and living within your means.
What if you couldn’t go to a big store get a bunch of processed food? You would soon appreciate the healthy benefits of locally-grown food and the value of sharing and trading with others.
What if you couldn’t watch TV? You’d have way more time to play with your child or dog, your yard would look way better than it usually does, and you’d probably discover (or rediscover) a pastime you truly enjoy. And you wouldn’t miss anything TV has to offer after about three days.
What if you could no longer use your microwave oven, dishwasher, hair dryer or cordless drill, and you had to permanently park your zero-turn mower, UTV and speedboat? What if you could no longer listen to Spotify, check in on TikTok or “follow” an overpaid celebrity on “social media?” And oh my gosh, what if you couldn’t browse the internet for hours every day or “go to” Facebook and post a snarky reply or the latest photo of you eating something?
You’d be fine, that’s what.
Anyway, if necessary, I think human beings would leave behind the hurry-up, self-indulgent and superficial attributes of the current state of everything and be completely OK in a slower, simpler existence in which conveniences simply weren’t so convenient (similar to their predecessors). And if you think that’s not true, you need to give yourself more credit than that. You could do it.
OK, maybe not. I guess there are people who probably couldn’t, and I think maybe I know some myself who would struggle at best.
But I’m sure I could, and so could a whole lot of other folks. And some (like me and my wife) might even welcome the change.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: email@example.com.
I’m not too sure we all could. I could. I think I would enjoy more time to sew, on my treadle sewing machine, I would love to bake more bread. I used to enjoy such stuff. Laundry on a washboard not so much. I have done that and didn’t like it at all but a wringer washer would be fine. It would be much harder on your wife than you. Hanging clothes out to freeze dry is no fun, it is cold, cold work.
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