2020 has been full of crazy experiences: panic buying, social distancing, hard lock-downs, hotel quarantines, hand washing and sanitising, elbow-bump greetings and Skype weddings.
This year is, for many people, the worst year of their lives. This is because the Covid-19 pandemic is not just happening in some distant part of the world, it is here and has to some degree personally affected everyone.
Most of us will be all too happy to see the back of 2020!
But before blowing the year out of the water, let’s add some perspective and consider the passage below.
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. 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, you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.
When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900.
How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85-year-old grandparent 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 enlightening like you wouldn’t believe.
Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out.
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