Perspective

Monday, 18 May

I am not sure who wrote the content given below, as there are a few authors on the internet claiming it as their own, but I believe it’s still worth a share:

We probably think that it’s all a bit of mess out there now. It’s hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is panic or the media’s desire to make a profit from all of this. But, for a small amount of perspective in this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.  Many would think that that was a pretty simple time of life. 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, the 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. Britain’s world trade fell by half (1929–33), the output of heavy industry fell by a third, employment profits plunged in nearly all sectors. At the depth in summer 1932, registered unemployed numbered 3.5 million, and many more had only part-time employment.

When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet, but don’t try to catch your breath.  In Britain and Europe, bombing of your neighbourhood, or invasion of your country by foreign soldiers along with their tank and artillery was a daily event.  By the end of the Second World War 2.9 million men had served in the British Army which had suffered about 300,000 military deaths and 376,239 wounded. 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 coronavirus 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?  If you were a child in 1965, perhaps you didn’t think your 65-year-old grandparents understood how hard school was or how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they had been through all of the above. 

Perspective is an amazing art.

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