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  • Dave Perron

A Perspective During This Challenging Time

How many of you have wondered what your life might have been like if you lived in earlier times? A friend sent this reflection to me to encourage perspective during today’s challenging times. I believe it is worth sharing.

Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass.


Imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are twenty. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

When you're 29, the Great Depression begins. U-employment hits 25 percent and global GDP drops 27 percent. 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. When you're 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthdays, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million.

At 52, the Korean War starts and five million perish. At 64, the Vietnam War begins and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict.

Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.

Intro by Dave Perron, Executive Director

"Perspective" origin unknown

Photo of Jeanne Skybrook at Veterans Home of California in 2005 by Peter Merts

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