Wednesday, January 26, 2022

MENU

Letter to the editor: “Perspective is an amazing gift”

From reader Randy Coleman

Hi Chuck,

Check out this interesting info.

Maybe we don’t have it that bad?

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.

On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. 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 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.

When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.

Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, as it killed 300 million people during your lifetime.

At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. From your birth, until you are 55 you dealt with the fear of Polio epidemics each summer. You experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or die.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday, you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, almost ended. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How did they endure all of that? If you were a kid in 1985 you may have thought your 85-year-old grandparent didn’t understand how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing and valuable gift. Refined and enlightening as time goes on. Let’s try to keep things in perspective. Your parents and/or grandparents were called upon to endure all of the above – today we are being called upon to stay home and sit on the couch.

Your letters are welcome. Please submit them here

##RVT948

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

40 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
GWM
3 months ago

Thanks for the great article from “history” Randy, and just wondering if you’re from Punksie, Pa?.

Lisa Adcox
3 months ago

Wow is all I can think to say.

DW/ND
3 months ago

Very interesting perspective. My dad was born in 1900 and lived thru all this, passing away at 78-1/2 yrs. He never complained, had it tough for several years, walked several miles to school – uphill both ways – and used to reminisce about the great times of the roaring 20’s and how great this country was thru all the noted turmoils! He lived those years – and I too thru his memories. He often remarked about his great life compared to what mine, as a young man was. Thanks for the memories!

Lorna
3 months ago

Thanks for the perspective Randy! Timelines and data staggering 🥴

robert prosser
3 months ago

That sums up how the Greatest Generation endured. The whinny snot nosed brats of today have no idea how tough it was to grow up and survive 1900 to 1975. Everything I have I worked for. Nothing was given to me.

William Thomas
3 months ago

When reading those death tolls, remember that the world population was one-third what it is today – so triple those numbers for an equivalent for today.

Bob P
3 months ago

Your history lessen has some errors, the Vietnam war did not last 20 years it started in 1962 when President Kennedy sent Special Forces as advisers to South Vietnam and ended in 1973 with our first defeat in history. It seems to be a trend with spineless Commanders in Chief to back away instead of annihilating the enemies will to fight.

Jeff Craig
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob P

Those numbers were correct, as the US only became involved after the French forces fell at Dihn Bihn Phu and the US had to prop up the (corrupt) South Vietnamese government against the communist North. You read an article about perspective, then you comment with propaganda straight from OAN/Fox News. As someone who served a career in the Navy, and spent my fair share of time in theater during the GWOT, you obviously have never been in a house-by-house firefight like we endured in Fallujah or Herat. We lost in Vietnam because we were sending conscripts into a battle with one hand tied behind out backs, because we DID NOT want the Soviets or Chinese to escalate the war into a global, nuclear, conflict. It lost the support of the people because not enough of the South Vietnamese were willing to fight for their corrupt leaders. We basically had the same thing in Afghanistan – leaders looked out for themselves or their village, instead of a nation that Britain and France cobbled together.

Jeff Craig
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

And before you whine about ‘spineless CinC’s’, remember it was GW Bush who took troops out of the ‘Stan to invade Iraq (based on a lie about WMD’s) and changed the mission to ‘nation building’ in both theaters when the situation fell apart. And, it was Trump/Pompeo who met with the Taliban WITHOUT allowing the ELECTED Afghan government to show up. That was the same trick Nixon used in Vietnam….
Like I said, you need some perspective yourself. (And the greatest defeat we ever suffered was the sacking of Washington during the War of 1812, followed by any number of bl**dy battles during the Civil War.

Ran
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

Thanks Bob, and others. Most were not even born yet! Here’s my research!
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-long-was-the-vietnam-war.html

Bob P
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

I served 13 months in country, I know what went on. My comment was about the politicians who kept us from winning just like they’ve done In Afghanistan. The boots on the ground did their jobs, so don’t climb my case about war.

Ron Sifford
3 months ago

History lesson that does not have any bearing on current conditions.

TIM MCRAE
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron Sifford

Oh really?

Polarized politics and stalemate.
Special interest groups & violence.
Religious wars
Trade wars
Cold wars
Racial cleansing
Slavery
Human trafficking

History has taught us that the grown ups don’t care about considering the other sides opinion and sooner or later they just start hitting each other.

What will it be this century? A billion dead?

Jeff Craig
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron Sifford

Thanks for proving the point that ‘those who forget history are doomed to repeat it’.

Kenneth Fuller
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron Sifford

Here’s where we are heading because of the overreaction to this pandemic – Workers Who Maintain Supply Chains Warn of Worldwide ‘System Collapse’.

TIM MCRAE
3 months ago

Oh man… What a mind opener!

Doesn’t this just prove our current crop of plotiticians & zealots (at every level, on all sides!) have not studied or learned from history?

This means our current world leaders are just as stupid as those of the last 150 years.

The first report of the ‘doomed to repeat it’ quote is attributed to Santayana in 1905. Oh man if someone would only have listened!

Donald N Wright
3 months ago

Too bad we cannot bring back the CCC or the WPA for the unemployed. Trouble is, there is no place to charge their phones..

Jack Blackwell
1 year ago

Talk about a bucket full of perspective served up with a dose of reality- that article is “crystal”!

pursuits712
1 year ago

Amen! Well said.

Joe
1 year ago

Best perspective I’ve read in a long time! Excellent and thank you!

Ray Zimmermann
1 year ago

Perspective, indeed. The retirement community I recently moved into has another location in the St. Louis area. A resident of the nursing center there just recovered from COVID-19, in time to celebrate his 107th birthday. The man actually did live through the Spanish flu, Great Depression, two World Wars and all the smaller ones and now this. I’m guessing he probably has more perspective than most of us. Here us a link to his story in the St. Louis paper. https://www.stlmag.com/health/107-year-old-st-louis-man-survives-covid-19/

Cindy
1 year ago

So much for all the whining I’ve been hearing! Until the 50s the experiences described were common in one way – death came early and often. The Hippies wanted to blame it all on their parents, but they were short-sighted. LIFE is full of pain and challenge. It’s how you deal with it that makes you an adult. That and how you treat the people who are going through the bad times now.

Jessie harvey
1 year ago

I guess some people aren’t smart enough to take care of their selves if you give up your freedom for security you deserve neither it’s false security they can’t guarantee your safety only God can do that

Sharan Harrison
1 year ago
Reply to  Jessie harvey

Well said.

Lee Ensminger
1 year ago
Reply to  Jessie harvey

“I guess some people aren’t smart enough to take care of their selves ”

THAT’S your takeaway from the events of the first 75 years of the 20th century?!?

Terri R
1 year ago

this needs to be posted on the FB site … so we can share with the youngsters in our lives.
There was so much sacrifice and lifestyle changes during all of these times – for those who don’t know may be that could be highlighted as well – like the draft, women in ‘volunteer’ positions that were mandatory, food shortages, child labor….
Thanx for the perspective

Jessie harvey
1 year ago

They didn’t do it by sitting home on the couch they did it by knowing they could take care of themselves and that individual lives aren’t as important as society’s life

Captn John
1 year ago

Yes the virus is bad. Worse is the amount of panic and lack of common sense. I’m 72 and refused to give up one day of freedom of the few days left to me. Being vigilant and using common sense is all needed to stay safe. Sadly many lack the ability to adapt and lack common sense so the masses were happy to be lead into tyranny. Enjoy every day you have, if it means staying in your safe space great but there still is a world out there too. Choices, make good ones but remember no one lives forever.

R.C.
3 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

Very good, Captain John!

Jesse Crouse
1 year ago

I am almost 72 now. My parents would always tell stories of the Spanish flu and the great depression and how everyone got thru it by “we are all in this together”. I am totaly baffled by selfish, egotistic comments by people complaining about their individual rights and how their lives are NOT back to normal. If we are “in this together” we can only “solve it together” . Suck it up and do what has to be done so we can get back to the “new normal”.

chris p hemstead
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Crouse

Some of those people are here right now.

-brent
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Crouse

Perspective is interesting. I see that Capt John is 72, and Jesse is nearly there. That seems old– then I realize that I hit 70 later this year… Best wishes you ‘old-timers’, I’m right behind you I just realized!

DW/ND
3 months ago
Reply to  -brent

I just realized you “kids” are coming along. Wish I could wait for you – I turned 85 last month and rollin’ along every day …no time to wait!

R.C.
3 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Crouse

New Normal? What IS the New Normal, Jesse Cruise?