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

19

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

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19 Comments
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Jack Blackwell
4 months ago

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

pursuits712
4 months ago

Amen! Well said.

Joe
4 months ago

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

Ray Zimmermann
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months ago
Reply to  Jessie harvey

Well said.

Lee Ensminger
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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.

Jesse Crouse
4 months 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
4 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Crouse

Some of those people are here right now.

-brent
4 months 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!

Tom Smithbrother
4 months ago

Unemployment hits 25%, Now. Panic has taken over common sense. Many people alive today were forced into servitude for an unpopular war that we backed out of the country now trades with this enemy, who took over that whole country. Many could not even buy a job as the market was flooded. Just maybe any period can be made to look bad, as I have mentioned only a few.

Lee
4 months ago

Everyone in the country should read this.

Sharon Boehmer
4 months ago

Thank you Randy and Chuck! What we are being asked to do is not all that hard. if me wearing a mask or staying 6 ft from someone while I am talking to them saves a life, including my own, then I will do it and not make a big deal about it. “Just Do It”

Donald N Wright
4 months ago

Chuck, I wish you would print this on Face Book. Thanks…Don

Cecilia
4 months ago

Just copy the link and post on your page.