They didn’t know it at the time, but the 1920s would be part of a small break between two world wars.
That’s right, 100 years ago people living across the world were about to enter a new decade after going through the hell of the war to end all wars, apparently.
Their respite from military mayhem was not to last long once the clock ticked over on midnight, December 31, 1919.
It’s true that they partied like it was 1999, especially in the USA, but just 18 years later German tanks rolled into Poland and the horror of World War II was upon the entire planet.
So, just to get things into a little bit of perspective, let’s see how we stack up compared to the human beings who lived 100 years ago.
Well, let’s look at our own patch, our wide brown land, the land of fire and flood and cyclones, and if they don’t kill us the sharks will when we go for a swim.
Oh, yeah, call in the counsellors, because we have had five prime ministers during the decade we’re about to leave behind.
Well, we know why we’ve had to keep changing them: because they were all basically not up to being the leader of our country.
The days of the greats, from Curtin and Chiefly to Howard seem to be behind us, so let’s stay calm and go shopping.
Come to think of it, we haven’t had a recession since the one we had to have back in ’91.
We’re also in the midst of a huge technological revolution which has made communication as easy as tapping a finger on a smart phone.
And we may not be there yet, but we have finally voted with our feet when it comes to embracing renewable energy forms, from solar to wind.
There is no doubt electric cars will be replacing petrol ones over the next few years at a huge, unstoppable rate and despite the bleating from the Luddites.
Computers, which have been in our lives for more than 40 years are now embedded into our psyche and you just could not imagine life without them.
Having worked as a check out boy in grocery stores I am in awe at how easy it is these days compared to the 1960s and 1970s when we had to manually put in the price of every item.
What drudgery it must have been and how much easier it is now, it’s just amazing.
Of course we have our challenges, some more serious than others, that’s what life is all about, one continuous move forward, making things better as we go.
But as we are about to enter the 2020s, let’s remember that we do live in the greatest age of all: free of world wars and more democratic than any time in history.
So tonight, on New Year’s Eve, let’s celebrate our good fortune to be alive at such an amazing time.
For just one evening let’s put aside our little grumbles and our differences and our first world problems and embrace all of the things that make our lives so wonderful.
Happy New Year to one and all.