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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Depression No More!

By Silvia Uribe

If you were born in the 50s or the 60s, do you consider yourself lucky? Think about it. We were raised with the comforts of modern life. At the same time, we have been witnesses to the greatest technological advances in history. These things have slowly but surely taken us from a comfy lifestyle, compared to the previous generation, to a high tech, almost miraculous way of living.

The first real technological related event that I remember is from the time when I was a little girl in Mexico. It's more like a flashback. I was sitting on my dad's lap in front of the T.V. and holding my mom's hand. My extended family, of course, was there too. We were all watching the arrival of men on the moon. As a child, I was only able to discern the importance of the moment by adults' anticipation, reactions, and comments. Right then and there I intuitively comprehended that everything and anything was possible with the right technology. Ever since then, I knew I had to keep an eye on it. And, I have.

If you haven't stopped to think about this lately, allow me to remind you of just a few technological advances that we've witnessed in each decade since we were born:

50s - TV Remote Control, Microwave Oven, Birth Control Pill
60s - Industrial Robots, Communication Satellites, Smoke Detectors
70s - PC Modem, Digital Music, MRI, GPS
80s - DNA Fingerprinting, Prozac, Internet -World Wide Web.
90s - Genetic Sequencing, MP3
2000 - iPhone, and more to come

In the not too distant future, scientists tell us, advances with nanotechnology will bring us closer to the -- what I call -- " Jetsons Era". Do you remember that cartoon? I have been waiting all these years for our lifestyle to be like theirs! For instance, conductive fibers will be woven into fabrics. Your clothes will keep track of your vital signs! Building materials will send and receive information. Sensors on roadways will detect ice and send signals to cars that force them reduce their speed. Drivers in big cities will know when and where a parking space is available. Also, nanotechnology will make it possible to get drunk drivers off the road by virtue of a sensor in the car that will measure the level of alcohol in a driver's breath before the ignition is started.

(Unfortunately, we will have to wait longer for robots and flying cars to become a part of our daily life, sorry.)

But that's not all. Let's not forget that technology is not the only field with enormous advancement. Equal amounts of progress happened in the medical field, thanks to which, our life is way healthier and longer than our ancestors'.

As much as I am in awe with science in general, I also realize how all these advances reflect our perfect human nature. They reflect our intelligence, and our ingenuity. They reflect our ability to adapt to constant change, as well as our learning capability, and even our sociability. I feel so proud of my human congeners!

As obvious as they may be, it's important to keep these facts in mind, especially during the mid-age years, when we start noticing that our youthful traits are starting to dwindle away. When we see a wrinkle steadily carving its way around our eyes, or pounds bulking in the least desired places, and before we succumb to the proverbial middle age crisis, we should stop and think that there's no future without past. But we cannot live in the past, if we want a future. Today, we have a wealth of experience to transmit, and still, an abundance of new things to absorb if we want to stay current.

As time passes, age should be more inconsequential for us to determine who we are, our quality of life, or our state of mind. Instead, we should look at age as a tool to determine our adaptation capability and our wisdom.

It is a fact that our generation didn't need to work as hard as the previous ones. And, we still had more resources at our reach. In fair retribution though, we were the spinning wheel for important social changes. And, one more thing, children today are still listening to the music that our generation created 30 years ago!

Forget about depression! We've received a lot, and we've given back a lot. For the most part, we've lived in times of peace, and we have also created history and seen it develop in an amazing way -- like never before. What else can we ask for?

Let's celebrate life every day!

Silvia Uribe is a freelance writer with a Latino perspective.

Cross-posted at

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