Human beings aren’t great at change. For most of human history, actually, changed moved a glacial pace. Human beings used stone for 4,000 years before they started making metals. It took another 2,500 thousand to move from bronze to iron.
Compare that to the pace of change just in the previous 100 years. 1914 saw the first scheduled airline flight. Radio waves were only transmitted in Morse Code. Electricity wasn’t wide spread. Penicillin hadn’t been discovered. Women didn’t have the right to vote in the US.
Only years later, I can write this blog post on a laptop from an airplane. 3D printers. Implantable technology. Driverless cars. We’ve been to the moon and landed on Mars and a comet.
And yet, in the frame of your life, these changes move incrementally. I had a computer in my classroom in elementary school. By middle school, the internet was widespread. Facebook launched the year I graduated from high school. In college I got a smartphone. This technology has become the new normal.
HIV/AIDS was someone else’s new normal. I was born in 1984 and never knew a world without HIV or AIDS. In fact, by the time that I was old enough to be aware of it, HIV/AIDS was a fact of sexual life which transcended the boundaries of sexual orientation. It just is one of those things that is.
And yet, it may be in my lifetime that HIV/AIDS is no longer a danger.
“Scientists report that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) may be rapidly evolving into a less deadly, less communicable form.”
A world without HIV. Now that’s a new normal I could easily get used to.