Sunday, November 13, 2011

All Of Our Lives as An Analogy for History

Remember when you first got a bike of your own?  Suddenly, you were able to easily travel for distances only dreamed of before, at speeds totally beyond your ability in the past.  Yes, your parents and other adults colud travel farther, faster, with less effort.  But, you were no longer limited to the length of your street (or the confines of your neighborhood, or whatever).

In the latter quarter of the 19th Century, society experienced something very much like our young liberation.

When the bicycle became widely available, people in the lower classes suddenly were able to travel under their own power over considerable distance.  Horses were expensive, and only the upper classes were able to afford them.  Train tickets were expensive, and automobiles were but a blip on the horizon.  The bicycle was the great equalizer.

So, society was changed in an overarching manner.  Folks from widely-spread communities could interact. Different cultures interacted, and the world became much smaller for those whose travel had, until then, been limited to a radius of a few hours' walk. 

Nowadays, we all go through the titanic changes that society once went through, on our own...because of the common two-wheeler.  Each of us is a world unto ourselves.

How weird is that?

x

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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.