If we strip out every luxury and just bring things down to bear essentials, all we really need in order to live is food, water, warmth, shelter and clothing. There was a time when the human race struggled to acquire even these basic necessities. The struggle itself was our way of life. This was a common factor between us and the rest of the animal kingdom. However, we managed to break free from subsistence living.
We started to cultivate the land and dominate other animals. Our intelligence developed to the point that we would learn to store and preserve food for lean times such as winter. The rest, as they say, is history.How did this come about? Did our intelligence grow first as a precursor to our many achievements? Or was it the other way round? Did our physical abilities allow us to do things other animals couldn't do? Would this have given us a greater number of skills and lead to increased intelligence?.Each new achievement would lead to an improvement in our intelligence. This greater intelligence led to yet more achievements, and there appears to be no limit.
Humans continue to this day to consolidate their power and rise to even greater heights to the point where we are now threatening our own planet's forces of nature with our powers. It is obvious that intelligence fed achievement and achievement fed intelligence - but which came first is debatable.What is for certain is that standards of living have steadily risen through the ages.
This rise in standards has been uneven and some of us still live a life of subsistence. For the majority, though, things have improved. Our definition of poverty has changed over the years.
The bar that has been set has steadily risen, to the point that in some western countries it is considered a necessity to have a television. It may not be long before some countries decide that all households, no matter how underprivileged, should own their own computer! To those in poorer countries, this may seem laughable, but even in most poor countries, the poverty bar has risen beyond mere subsistence.What has driven us humans from caveman times has surely been the steady stream of technical advances.
From ever more sophisticated farming techniques to landmarks like the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, the advent of fast travel and the digital age we find ourselves in now, we have developed our abilities and pushed the boundaries.As far as we know, Neandertal man and Homo sapien man were largely cave-dwellers. Homo sapiens, still in the grip of the ice-age, started to build primitive tepee-like homes.
There must have been a time when these structures were seen as a luxury compared to caves and other natural shelters. Yet, over time, these homes became commonplace amongst humans. At some point the luxury would have become a necessity.Clothing also progressed from simple animal skins to sewed leather garments using new leather-softening techniques.
Once again, tailored clothing would start off as a luxury for the few and would eventually become a necessity. The list of items that have been promoted in this way to become one of life's essential requirements have continued through the ages. The list includes tools, medicines, money, soap and the refridgerator.
Yes, there was a time when a fridge was a luxury item! In many communities telephones are beginning to fall into the essential items list.What of the future? Which of today's luxuries will someday be seen as an essential item? I've mentioned the computer already. And what about something to deal with one of the greatest disease spreaders on Earth - the flying insect. I predict that in a few years time fly killer machines will be commonplace in the home. They are already found in the workplace, especially where there is food, but the demand to improve protection against flies and mosquitoes in the home has now come of age. In areas where mosquitoes can cause malaria the need is obvious.
There is also a burning need to control common house flies. They are notorious for visiting the most disgusting places like dung heaps and rubbish tips and then visiting our kitchens and spreading the germs they have collected.Perhaps a time will come when fly killers will become one of life's essentials - perhaps a little more important than having a computer or television!..
Vernon Stent is the marketing consultant for Insectocutor Fly Killers, sold by Arkay Hygiene. The best unit for the home is the Hygenie.
By: Vernon Stent