GRE Issue Essay 131

“The increasingly rapid pace of life today causes more problems than it solves.”

The pace of life is increasing manifold since the past two decades. As our lives become more comfortable, they become more complicated as well. I agree with the author’s statement that our pace of life today is the reason for many problems, even though this pace has made us more comfortable.

Contrast the lives we are leading to those of our ancestors. The complete way of living has undergone a transformation. Not only are our lives more dependent on gadgets, but also our daily routines, eating habits, priorities, aspirations, expectations, values, everything is changing at a very swift pace. If we take a minute to ponder over it, we ourselves would be amazed at how our lives have secretly changed. When we were younger, there were snail-paced means of communication, limited sources of knowledge, traveling was more time consuming, lesser financial security, fewer gadgets, lesser planning etc. Alternatively, our childhood was more carefree, our parents had more time for us, our education system was less complicated, the competition was less in every sphere etc.

The increase in pace is due to many factors that are interrelated. Development in technology is the core factor responsible for this. It has led to improvement in communication and hence globalization; the world is smaller and closer than it ever was. Nonetheless, can globalization be the only reason why our lives are so different? Certainly not. The other key factors responsible for the present situation are increased sense of insecurity and competition among people. We are insecure in terms of finance, health, property, employment, relationships etc. Couple with this insecurity, our sense of competition. We are constantly trying to outdo others and gain an edge over them. Be it our friends, colleagues, family members, neighbors, anyone. We are constantly racing against time to rise higher, earn more, have a better standard of living, and have more of everything. In fact, the more we gain, the more we bother about securing it. This is the vicious circle of our present day fast-paced lives.

The aspect of our lives that is the most affected because of this is our own health. The changes in our lifestyles leave no room for exercise, recreation and indulgence. There is seldom any time to relax and even if there is any, thanks to mobile phones and laptops, we are rarely out of reach and out of occupation. How many times have you socialized with friends without receiving any unexpected call to interrupt conversations? Sadly, our bodies cannot keep pace with these changes. Besides an alarming increase in chronic diseases, there is a lot of stress that people face in their lives. Though the average life expectancy has increased, it is basically medicines on which our populations are surviving.

Along with physical ailments, our minds are getting increasingly corrupted. Humility, cooperation, patience, tolerance, truthfulness, selflessness; such qualities are hardly innate now. People have to consciously make efforts to inculcate such traits, where they were an integral part of our values in the past. When it comes to children, parents are happier to see their child competing to be the best rather than becoming a good human being. Since it is money that matters now, people are directing their energies in one direction only. It is work, competition and success all around us with our lives more comfortable yet more intricate.