In the Great Courses lecture series on the Industrial Revolution, Professor Patrick Allitt of Emory University advances the premise that our primary response to the Industrial Revolution should be gratitude. In his introduction, Professor Allitt asserts that in every tangible way, people who are relatively poor in our culture live more comfortable lives than kings and queens from just a few hundred years ago. He cites a few examples to prove his point, emphasizing electricity, communication and transportation.

It is quite common in our day to hear complaints about the problems associated with industrialization and technology, but in most cases the old problems were worse than the new problems. For example, our automobiles produce emissions which are detrimental to the air quality, particularly in crowded cities. If you are stuck in a traffic jam or if you walk behind a car with an outdated emission system, it would be easy to imagine live before our machines polluted the air. However, our cities were crowded before automobiles came into vogue, and the urban environment was spoiled even worse by the emissions of horses and other beasts of burden. Exhaust fumes are a real hazard, but they are nowhere near as foul as the air that resulted in late 19th century cities that were crowded with horses and their manure.

People with a negative mindset tend to focus on the hassles of automobile ownership, like the costs of insurance, maintenance and repairs. When the temptation to grumble arises, we would do well to remember that most Americans enjoy a level of mobility that would have seemed magical to our ancestors, and a level of mobility that is much more advanced than much of the world even today. Rather than complaining about the challenges of car ownership, why not start the New Year with gratitude for the everyday conveniences of 21st century life?

At Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, we are ready to help keep your vehicles running smoothly and reliably. We are a family-owned shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.