Having perspective is good, but using it is better. I received what is written below from a friend. I do not know who wrote it, but I think it makes an excellent point relative to what is occurring now.
We probably all think that it’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. Many would think that that was a pretty simple time of life. Then on your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war, including many of your friends who volunteered to defend freedom in Europe.
Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 38. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. If you were lucky, you had a job that paid $300 a year, a dollar a day.
When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet, but don’t try to catch your breath. If you lived in London, England or most of continental Europe, bombing of your neighborhood, or invasion of your country by foreign soldiers along with their tank and artillery was a daily event. Thousands of Canadian young men joined the army to defend liberty with their lives. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.
At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday there is the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could have ended. Sensible leaders prevented that from happening.
In 2020, we have the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands have died; it feels pretty dangerous; and it is. Now think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you think they survived all of the above? When you were a kid in 1965, you didn’t think your 65-year-old grandparents understood how hard school was, and how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art. Refined as time goes on, and very enlightening. So, let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, we are all in this together. Let’s help each other out, and we will get through all of this.
Barry Evans is a Villager and columnist for Villages-News.com