We live in a “short-term” culture. Few people can see beyond themselves into a future. That is, “Why work hard now if there is no benefit NOW? I want what I want when I want it.” Other generations could see their actions and lives as part of a play, just one act or scene in a larger, human drama playing out on the world’s stage. At the very least they could plan or practice or work hard with little to see for it until a day things “broke through.”
One reason for this loss is the loss of our sense of immortality. When we are no longer able to look beyond our own deaths and relate ourselves to what extends beyond the time and space of our individual lives, we lose both our desire to create and the excitement of being human.