JUST A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE
By E. P. Unum
April 27, 2021
History helps us keep things in perspective.
For example, imagine you were born in 1900, the beginning of a new century.
On your 14th birthday, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday. Twenty-two million people perish in that war. Let that number sink in!
Later in that year, the Spanish Flu Pandemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, you read that correctly…50 million.
Then, things really start to get exciting. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. Banks collapse. Savings and investments vanish.
Homelessness, famine, poverty, business failures are the order of the day. All of this until you are 33. Our country nearly collapses along with the world economy. But things are about to really get sticky.
Just as you celebrate your 39th birthday, World War II starts. You are in the prime of your life, but don’t try to catch your breath just yet!.
You and your family are struggling with rationing of things like gasoline, tires, meat as the nation focuses its attention on the war effort. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, seventy-five million people perish in this war. America and its Allies prevail in this conflict and we begin the monumental task of rebuilding the world!
Yes, America did that.
America began the process of rebuilding nineteen nations in Europe, including Germany and the entire nation of Japan, our enemies in WWII. It extends massive aid to China but the Communists under Mao Tse Tung use it to help drive our ally, Chiang Kai Shek, out of China to Formosa (now Taiwan).
Then, five years go by and by the time you celebrate your 50th birthday, the Korean War starts. Five million perish in this “police action”. China led by Mao enters this conflict on the side of North Korea and the war ends in a stalemate.
By now, you have reached age 55, and guess what? The Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. Four million people perish in that conflict.
On your 62nd birthday, you sit glued to your black and white TV set listening to President John F. Kennedy talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. ICBM Missiles capable of hitting cities across the United States are being constructed and fueled on the island of Cuba, 90 miles from our shores. Life on our planet, as we know it, could very well have ended, but, thankfully, great leaders on both sides came to their senses and prevented that from happening. But, we were on the brink. Then, mercifully, when you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.
Now, think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1975, remember how you thought your 75-year-old grandparent couldn’t possibly understand how hard school was? Or how depressing it was that you didn’t make the CYO traveling basketball team. And how sad you felt when you didn’t get accepted to the college of your choice or how devastated you were when you didn’t get to go to your junior prom! It kind of pales in comparison to what our grandparents went through doesn’t it?
Yet, your grandparents and mine survived everything listed above. Not only did they survive in the face of significant adversity, but they worked hard and helped build a nation that includes the greatest economy known to man, replete with incredible advances in science, medicine, technology, and the arts, and the highest standard of living for its citizens in the world. And we saved Europe…twice…in the twentieth century from Nazism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism. It’s all about keeping things in perspective.
Yes, we’ve lost too many people to this new Chinese virus. But, keeping things in perspective, it is by no means the existential threat the media has made it out to be.
Thanks to President Trump we have three approved vaccines and many drug therapies, all created in less than a year…a remarkable accomplishment. Our survival rate is 99.96% but our so-called leaders still promote a dialogue of fear.
Promoting fear itself creates an unhealthy environment. Fear causes people to think and act irrationally. It clouds your judgment. So does pointing accusatory fingers, the blame game. We are Americans. We are better than that.
Let’s try to remember that. Let’s try to remember that we have survived, overcome, and prospered because of that one singular fact. Yes, we have our problems, but here is a news flash for all the radical liberals and social justice warriors rioting in our streets: violence is never the answer. Violence is the tool of the ignorant.
Let’s try and keep things in perspective, open our schools and businesses, stop dwelling on negative things, renew the entrepreneurial spirit and American creativity and innovation… and start focusing on our future once again.
And, perhaps most importantly, let’s get back to the principles upon which our nation was founded and by which our country has prospered: Love of God, Love of Family, and Love for our fellow men and women.
God bless America!