Most of us wake up in the morning, pour a cup of coffee, and then check to see if there are any messages on our phone or email. With coffee in hand, we settle in to answer the messages. In a flash our emails go out through the internet, and within a few seconds, the other parties have received our answers. To us, it is a daily occurrence, and we do not give it another thought. But, as with everything, time is relative. Take for instance the thought of going to work and getting upset when there is a traffic jam. What if you traveled in a wagon train going west – from Missouri to California – it would take you six months. Travel was improved via stagecoach at 5 mph, and the coach traveled between 60 to 70 miles in a 12-hour day. When the transcontinental railroad was built it took 19 days to travel from the east coast to the west. The next round of more modern transportation was the Ford Model T – it would take you 34 days to cross the United States, because most of the roads were still dirt. But the advantage was the you were the captain of your car and could travel (where the roads were passable). By the 1930s, the airplane could take passengers from coast to coast in approximately 15 hours. With the advent of jet airlines, we could now fly coast-to-coast non-stop within 5 hours. Just think, in less than 170 years man has been able to speed up transcontinental travel from 6 months to 5 hours! Today, we complain about how one is squeezed into an airplane seat. Think of how it was for those who bumped along a dusty trail filled with wagons heading west. Or being crammed into a coach, with eight other people, traveling 12 hours per day, and given hot coffee and beef jerky to sustain you. The trains featured wooden benches for most and were often filled with smoke. It was also a bit hard on your backside, as well, bouncing around in a Model T or taking an early plane flight. But, people gave up comfort for time. Yet, today, all of us are impatient because everything takes so long. Does it? We have most things at our fingertips. Yes, we are spoiled because we do not have to wait forever. Travel is fast, packages are delivered overnight, texts and emails are sent and received immediately, and up-to-date news is passed to us within moments, thanks to the ever-present internet. Still, people do not seem to have enough time. Isn’t it ironic, because there is still only 24 hours in a day. Make good use of your time and understand that speed is relative – that text you just sent would have taken up to 10 days to reach it’s intended recipient just 150 years ago via the Pony Express. Seriously, we have come a long way, baby!
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.