Imagine that 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 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

When you’re 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global 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.

When you’re 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 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.

Perspective is an amazing thing, so 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 end.

 forwarded by a friend, circulating on whats app!


  1. Excellent post! That person would be my grandmother. She never talked about all the tragedies throughout her life. People didn’t do that. They faced life and moved forward. We could all take a big lesson from those born in 1900. Thank you, Kate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perspective always helps, Kate, thank you! I read another blog that had the same thing, only with more recent things that our generation lived through. (Remember polio and the iron lung?) You’re right, bad stuff happens in this world…always has, and always will. But the thing is, the bad times don’t last forever, and even when they’re here they don’t have to define our every waking moment. And good stuff also happens in this world…always has and always will! Life is for living, as they say…thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You definitely stirred up comments here. I didn’t read all of them, but I’m sure the most were happy that you put our current situation in such a perspective. About fifteen minutes ago, I was reading something when I stopped and uttered a prayer about myself that I wouldn’t become “jaded” with all this crying of 100,000 lost in a pandemic. I wasn’t sure I used the right word when I said “jaded.” But truthfully I’m bored and disgusted. All the young workers and students should not be paying a potion of their lives for me. I thank them, but if I die at 86, I’ve had a good life with family, community, health resources, babies, career, etc. It is time to let others live life to the fullest. I probably need “sheltered;” my 34 year old wage earner paying bills for his/her family probably does not. I have sense enough to “shelter” without closing “life” for others. Thanks for the research and writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • not my writing at all Oneta, just sharing something that’s been circulating.

      I get you, we have had our lives and now young folks are risking their lives and livelihoods for us … not fair!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Perspective indeed. I knew my great grandmother who was born in 1895 and saw it all. Amazing, come to think of it, how strong she must have been. And ahead of her time (she owned her own book store in Amsterdam in the 1920s!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • no idea where you heard that! I’d be most amazed …

      there is no vaccine yet so social distancing will be here a while and I suspect many countries wont open their international borders probably until next year … but you probably know better 🙂


  5. Hi, Kate. Yes, that generation made it through all of that, yet it persisted. Why?

    Ultimately, perhaps it was the acknowledgement, not always spoken, but implicit. that some things are bigger than Self, and What’s-Happening-to-Me-at-This-Very-Moment.

    For many it was a belief in a Higher Power, aka God. Considerable overlap with the former, but there also was confidence in the worth and durability of civilization.

    This allowed many to rise above current circumstance to understand bad times come and bad times go. What endures is bigger than the present situation.

    After all, WWI and the influenza pandemic led to…the Roaring Twenties. After two decades of Depression, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, there were three decades of Baby Boom and postwar expansion. Etc., etc. Everything in its turn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • well said Keith … the implication is that something interesting is unfolding, wait and see where this leads us ..

      I’ve found in my own life for something special to happen I often need to work thru some heavy stuff first … or that by clearing the decks we allow something better to arise .. am I expressing this clear enough?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There may have “never been a storm that last” — but that’s small consolation to the loved ones of those lost in the storms.

    Some may call my ‘take’ overly gloomy. I call it empathetic. How’s that for perspective? (Not that I don’t appreciate your post.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • agreed, it most certainly is no consolation to those lives lost and their loved ones …

      but we all need to closely examine how effective our leadership has been during this crisis rather than be brainwashed by their rhetoric. If they haven’t performed …
      guess this is targeted at all those with the highest infection/death rates

      So think long and deep before you caste your next vote!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. So true Kate and we are the only civilization who are living in comfort zone. How people must have lived and millions have died in every century with wars, diseases, natural calamities and so on. Why are we getting so worked up. This too shall pass

    Liked by 2 people

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