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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS 
of
Larimer County, Colorado
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Larimer League

Keeping Things in Perspective
By Jane A Everham
Posted on 5/11/2020 8:55 AM

Keeping Things in Perspective
shared by a British friend of a league member

“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. Millions more maimed. 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%. Almost everyone depends on federal aid just to survive. 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. Everything was rationed.  Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and millions more maimed.  
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 were 55, you dealt with the fear of polio epidemics each summer. You experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or dying.  
 
At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. The resulting political conflict nearly tears the country apart.  During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday you watched 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? When you were a kid you 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 very useful, refining and enlightening as time goes on.  Our parents and/or grandparents were called to endure so much, and we are called to stay home and only use the take-out service at restaurants.”