What an amazing time to be alive

Another year older? Certainly! Another year wiser? Probably not!

The other Thursday, around 6-30pm, I celebrated 54 years of life on this mortal coil.

Each year, my birthday seems to come around sooner, probably simply because each year is now actually a smaller percentage of my actual life than the one before.

I actually spend more time reflecting on life around the time of my birthday than I do at, for instance, New Year.

This year has been no different.

And the conclusion of those ruminations is quite simple ... we are lucky to live at the time we do.

I know there are enough toils, trials and tribulations all over the world to make us stop and think, sparing a thought for those not as fortunate as ourselves.

But, on the whole, things are pretty good.

And people of my generation have witnessed more change to life on the planet than any other in history.

Think of technology.

Think of transport.

Think of medicine.

The giant strides that have been taken in all of these fields in the last half-century are immense.

You can also add to the things to think about the sheer amount of community spirit shown on a daily basis and reported.

Everyone, it seems, rallies round to help everyone else.

Many people are proud of where they live and proud to work hard for it.

Small examples like repeated successes in “In Bloom” and “Best Kept” competitions are testament to that.

Many of our high streets have new leases of life and small, independent retailers are making names for themselves.

What started out as small charity events now attract hundreds, indeed thousands, of willing fund-raisers and volunteers.

Of course everything is not perfect and many people face daily struggles.

But, on the whole, I am happy to live in the current generation.