As man moves through the last few hundred days of the second millennium, he will ponder the past and look at what he believes our world, country, family and individual will be like in the space two or three hundred years in the future. But it would really be hard to visualize the changes of the next Millennium.
The people who are living on the last day of this century, and the first day of the twenty-first century will have lived in two different Millenniums, but will soon pass on out into the great beyond, and time will move on.
As I look about me on this date, I see changes without number, as comprehended by one mans mind over the last seventy seven years. I was born August 27, in the year of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Nineteen, and have seen many of those changes as it happened. But what would it be like for the people of just one Millennium ago ? as measured in time at One Thousand years, to see what we have today as compared to that date and time. The many small things that makes life easier today would be very strange to them, unless you could show and tell them how it works and what it is used for.
Yes, a whole thousand years of progress would need to be put out before us all to show just what man has done for himself, or to himself, depending on your point of view.
The period of time called “The Dark Ages” included the Fourth through the Ninth Centuries of the First Millennium.
The Crusades began in the First and lasted to the Third Century of the Second Millennium.
Even though the people of long-long-ago were very brave and persistent and eager to improve their way of life, they knew nothing of the many things that we take for granted, that has made life easier for the people of our present days. They were really very happy as they were, because they didn't know of all the progress that would be made in the future.
Did you ever think about just what kind of questions would come up?, if you could take a few of our many gadgets and appear before a group of people who lived just three or four hundred years ago. We could start with a camera—-we take their pictures, and show it to them, they would have trouble verifying that it was their own picture.? What kind of a question would you get.? Suppose you drove a car to where they were, What would happen,???. What is that thing.?? What makes it go.? Will it go up hill.?? etc.. How would you answer all these simple questions,??. About the Airplane, Train, Radio, TV., Light bulb, Chain saw, etc. You would have questions galore. It would be unreasonable for me to think of listing all of the small things that keeps changing our way of life. But this gives some perspective of what we are talkin about as each generation passes through their space in time. Each generation has some degree of change in their experience as they saw it in their span of life, therefore many customs of long ago are obsolete and almost forgotten. People who lived in those times could teach us a lot about the problems of their times. After all, they did survive and made progress, without which it would be impossible for us to enjoy the things that have evolved through the ages to our present standard of living.
To accomplish all of this they had to overcome great odds and set-backs without number over any years of epidemics of flu, cholera, chronic diarrhea, etc. Great wars have raged over large parts of the earth, as far back as records have revealed to us, that has divided mankind into many different groups, and left scars that will last well into the third Millennium.
The Crusades began in the first century of the second Millennium, they began with a military expedition to take Jerusalem and other Holy Lands from the Moslems. Jerusalem changed hands several time, and was re-captured by the Crusaders in the twelfth century. These wars were sometimes called the Holy Wars of the Middle Ages.
Then came the discovery of America, the reign of Napoleon, The American Revolution, the Steam Boat, The War of 1812, The American Civil War, World War 1, World War 2, The Atomic Bomb, which have changed the world forever. The twentieth century was the bloodiest period of time that has been recorded by man.
The libraries of the world have an almost endless record of the accomplishments of man. I would guess that 90% of it is records of what happened during the last three centuries of the 2nd Millennium. The change is so great that it would be almost impossible to comprehend what life was like just five hundred years ago. It is likewise impossible for us to visualize what it will look like at the end of the third Millennium.
During my life time I have seen the crash of the Stock Market in the late 1920's, and I saw the Great Depression of the 1930’s, World War II of the 1940’s, I was here when the Atomic bomb was dropped on Japan that ended that war. The Korean War, The Vietnam War, I was here when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, and Desert Storm. I also remember the Black Man's Freedom March's of the 1960,s. These are some of the events in my lifetime that will be recorded in the history books of the very far future.
It has been just over five hundred years since America was discovered by the White Man. Now it has grown to be the most advanced in science and technological research, and the most powerful nation the world has ever known. It is one of younger nations of the world, yet is has the oldest democratic form of government in existence to day.
I saw the horse and buggy days, the one—room country school, the narrow wagon roads, the outdoor toilet, the dug wells and cisterns, the old rub board, the walking plows, the coal oil (kerosene) lamp. and the early days of the automobile.
Today we have paved highways to about any where you want to go in this country, and good automobiles. We can easily travel five hundred miles in less than ten hours. Just one hundred years ago it would take a wagon pulled by horses at least five or six weeks to travel the same five hundred miles. Our schools have been consolidated and modernized, the students of today have much better books, typewriters, computers, and about all they need to learn and become better educated. They also have hot lunches at school, I carried a brown paper bag with a cold sandwich for lunch at school. Today we have running water in all of our homes, refrigerators, gas or electric stove, and the microwave to cook on. We heat our homes with wood, gas or electricity. We have gadgets in our homes that the people of a few short years ago would have no idea what they are used for. But when you add it all up it makes life a lot easier than our ancestors dreamed of.
During the recent years just past, man has been to the Moon, we have satellites in the skies that give us communication with people any where on earth. We can send e-mail on our computers which gives us almost instant contact to anyone in the world who has a computer. Until the telegraph came on the scene just a short time ago. A message had to be delivered by a runner or some other means, and it took weeks or months to communicate with people in other lands. Today we have a Space Shuttle that is rocketed into outer space and orbits the earth, it makes a complete circle around the earth in about one and one half hours, and lands back on earth almost like the landing of a airplane, with a crew of five or six people. These are just a few of the many accomplishments of man in the second Millennium.
Of the four or more billion people living on earth today, very few will be recorded in the history books of the second half of the third millennium. By that time we wonder how many people will be on earth, and what life of that time will be like. The smaller countries may be over-run by the larger one because they will be over-populated and need more room to raise food, etc..I wonder how they will feed so many people.? What will they use for fuel, etc.?.
It would be unwise to predict exactly what will happen when the world runs out of natural resources and so many people to feed. Perhaps something will happen to adjust the population, such as new diseases in epidemic proportions that wipes out large portions of the population, and man will move on into the far future. Without which would be impossible, were it not for what the people of each space in time has contributed down through the ages.