Yes, we have extended lifespans, decreased disease and hunger and poverty for a vast swath of humanity, undermined many a dictatorship, increased the standard of living, saved the whales...but with our success has come pride, and intentional ignorance and complaisance. Man in the days of legend knew he was fallible, fragile, and finite; he lived like he knew one day soon he would die. We think there is a surgery, an app, a gadget, an excuse, a pill, a diet, a guru, a government program to fix our problems, whatever they be, and that death, if it comes, is a thing little to be thought of or dreaded, an occurrence on par with being kidnapped by a dragon, unlikely to happen and of no major consideration.
A blizzard just shut down the state for three days, for all our vaunted technology, we were at its mercy as we huddled helplessly indoors from the wrath without. A dear friend's father was just diagnosed with a fatal and debilitating disease. A recent truck accident killed a young father of four. We are still vulnerable, finite, fragile, and fallible creatures, we've just managed to push out the bounds of 'civilization and safety,' the pixies and dragons still lurk in the wilds without, they are just farther away, just enough to make us think ourselves triumphant and safe and immortal. The 'archaic' man knew himself to be at the mercy of time, fate, and chance, that death hulked like a specter over life, and the wise were prepared when finally it pounced like inexorable night. But we moderns dither, make excuses, ignore it, pretend it isn't there, think some miraculous cure will spring suddenly from the mind of man and spare us the trouble, but it won't.
What can overcome the darkness, chase back the night, fix the broken, right the wrongs, save us from oblivion? Perhaps the answer is found in the fairy tales held sacred by the benighted residents of bygone days. Perhaps believing in what modern men call myths is actually the first step upon the road of Wisdom: