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Having a hot shower is just one of the many luxuries we enjoy in the modern world. But hot water systems are a relatively recent addition to our lives over the course of human history – and just one of many luxuries people often take for granted.
And this is what Dallas contemplated while having his own hot shower yesterday morning: anyone living on the Age Pension in 2021 is living way more comfortably than a king 500 years ago.
In our modern world, it’s easy to get caught up worrying about things we don’t have but would like to have. But the reality is that being alive right now is much easier than it ever has been (in the developed world, anyway).
It’s easy to compare our lives to others’, and we only tend to compare ourselves to the richest people – the ones seemingly the most ‘successful’; the ones who own the most luxury items. We don’t take notice of the guy driving along next to us in his rusty Camry (but if you do, make sure to wave, because it’s probably Dallas…)
So, we had a discussion of the luxuries we enjoy in Australia in the 21st century. Here are just some of them:
  • Hot and clean water, that we don’t need to worry about drinking
  • Refrigeration – the ability to keep our food for longer; put ice in our drinks
  • An abundance of food. In fact, sometimes so much that we throw it out
  • Air conditioning (as north Queenslanders, we really appreciate this one)
  • Healthcare. And excellent public healthcare at that – even better than some others in the developed world. People used to die from tooth infections or standing on a rusty nail. A hundred years ago, even kids would be dying from such simple things.
  • Sunscreen – also very important in FNQ and Australia in general!
  • Good legal systems and freedom of speech.

All of these are things that add to our quality of life and weren’t available even to kings 500 years ago.
We’re not saying life is easy, and we’re certainly not saying don’t save for your retirement. We’re just saying that we have many conveniences these days that we often take for granted.
In fact, when you think about the modern advances in health and consequently longer life expectancy, it probably gives us even more reason to save for our future. And if you save well enough, you could even live like a modern king.

Listen to the related podcast here!