I know that people often say that people in the present live better than the royalty of the past. I've never felt that way, on good days and bad, through happy and sad.
We always expect the future to be better than the past. No matter at what time of life, and under whatever situation we always hope that we escape our crummy situation and everything will solve itself. The future is this wonderful place that can do things that even the best super heroes can't do. Heck, it can even travel through time (forward, that is). No matter how pessimistic, life is always leaning towards the bright side, even though it seems like we have more and more problems being added to our daily routines.
There's a problem with that. History has shown that the past repeats. After all, that's the number one reason why people say to study history to (ironically) stop repeating the past. Now, if the past repeats, then the future must behave just like the past. Here's were we hit a snag. We can't expect a better future knowing that our crummy pasts will just keep repeating.
Now some people will think that our lives don't completely repeat. There's are many things that were here now in the present that did not exist in the past (such as this amazing iPad app). That's correct. But this follows the pattern in history where people create new things. I'm not trying to talk about the new ever changing crap that people have, but rather how people act and organize themselves.
I have to ask you, disregard all of the meaningless material waste you have and think about how much your life has actually improved. Do you really think that your life has gotten better in the last 10 years? Think about the fun you had 10 years ago, the worries that you didn't have and the ideas that you thought would carry you into the future. The more information you have about how the world works, the more you realize how lost the world really is. It's been 2012 years (give or take) since Christ was born! Just like you, people two thousand years ago were hopeful too. They hoped for better futures, because it's really hard to change the past. It's pretty hard to say how much better your life will be when the past is so miserable. With enough time, even the most distant futures will eventually transform into the past, and then we can remember how miserable we were back then.
This brings up why people even bother to try if there is little evidence that it will do them any good. Because people have no choice. Like the people buying lottery tickets even though they know it won't do them any good over 99.9% of the time, there's always that .1%. Everyone, myself included, always focus on our own statistics. It doesn't matter if someone is one in a million because that someone might be you. More to the point, it doesn't matter if the average score is 75%, as long as you yourself get above 90%. Population statistics don't apply to the individual and even the smallest chance is one chance better than there was before.
None of us can beat this bitter reality and false sense of hope that the future will automatically bring us happiness. Life is a questionable animal, one with more questions than it has answers.