Back in the 1970s, I was a fan of a weekly TV program called "Little House on the Prairie," which depicted the life of author Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child and young woman on the American frontier. The show was schmaltzy at times, I admit, but it was also educational. And it provided a yardstick by which to measure the "progress"--if you can call it that--we had made in our country.
In the days when the show aired on prime-time television, there was a stark contrast between the lives of the characters on the program--who were early American pioneers--and the lives of the average modern American. The pioneers lived a hard life, fighting to survive in often harsh conditions.
Modern-day citizens, on the other hand, had every convenience the technological age could provide. By comparison, their lives were easy. Today they are even easier.