Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What Their Eyes Saw

Nestlé Food advertisement, 1915.jpg
baby feeding
Available Dog Training Facility #dogged #TrainDogObedience
Pinterest


The time period for these children was early 1900s.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, 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 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.

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.

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

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 art. 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. - Author Unknown


What was your reaction when you read this? Did you know any brave people who experienced and survived such a large section of the 20th century?

My grandparents were part of all above. I did not ask them enough questions.


37 comments:

  1. Good advice. We are fighting a war and all we have to do is sit on our butts and watch TV and wear a mask. Big whoop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said. We can complain all we want, but that generation got up and did something about what they were experincing.

      Delete
  2. When you think about it, that was a lot rougher than anything we've experienced in the past forty years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spent time with my Grandma who was born in 1902, lived to be 92 yrs old. She had seen Model T cars to Moon landings. Lived through WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam. She saw so much.

      Delete
  3. I did indeed -- and I just wish that I had asked more questions. I can't begin to imagine what it was like to witness all they saw and experienced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They went through hardships and came out the other side to talk about those experiences.

      Delete
  4. I never knew my grandparents who undoubtedly lived through a lot of this. As indeed my parents did.
    Perspective can be humlling can't it? Many of us living today do not realise just how fortunate we are.
    And, as an addition to your chronology of events, communication was MUCH slower and less efficient. Families often simply had no idea what others in their family were going through and if they survived...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was definitely a factor in how lives were at that time. Telephones were available for only those within towns much of the time until the 30s. Radios opened the world events in the living rooms. That changed many lives.

      Excellent, Sue!

      Delete
  5. My father has pointed out that he's lived through a great deal, as well. Think about the changes you've seen in your lifetime. We all have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. I wonder what our gr-kids will see?

      Delete
  6. This first photo actually reminds me of my father (born 1912). Yes, their reliance, stoicism even, was remarkable. My parents did not speak of those times and sadly, I didn't ask.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't ask enough questions. But I did hear stories they shared with each other.

      Delete
  7. It does give some perspective. I don't think my grandparents would consider those events fondly either. But they did live through most of them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My grandma's only daughter died as a toddler, from a bacterial infection and no antibiotics. The town librarian had a withered arm and leg from polio, as did one of my junior high school teachers. We've come a long way, baby. We don't have much to whine about in comparison to the "olden days."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that! The History of Illnesses that crippled a lot of America would be an interesting class to offer in community colleges.

      Delete
  9. That's an awful lot of death and destruction for one century. And all without air-conditioning too, not to mention other modern conveniences unknown back then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Health care would be an issue as well. Doctors would be stretched to care for a community.

      Delete
  10. Yes, what you said at the end. I was thinking I wish I had asked more questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It also made me realize that we need to tell our own stories to our own gr-kids.

      Delete
  11. "In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too shall pass."

    This is exceedingly hopeful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you Susan. Yes, I know people who lived through WWII and their stories make one cry.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read that there are only 2000 WW2 vets still alive in New Jersey.

      Delete
  13. My parents were born in 03 & 04 and I DID NOT ask enough questions, but I did remember some tales. Searching for work sleeping in barns and cutting firewood for breakfast and raisin a family during the depression. Strange that both Sherry's and My parents were teenagers during the 1918 Pandemic and we never heard a word about it.
    Some TOUGH people lived during the times you mentioned.
    Love from Florida
    Sherry & jack
    I did truly enjoying the perspective from those eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandparents lived on a farm, outside small towns. Did that make the difference? The only story I heard was that one was 17 and helped local doctor care for those who had the flu. She didn't get ill, so he called on her.

      Delete
  14. Oh that gave me shiver dear Susan

    while reading this i felt warm wave rising inside my veins

    people like your grand parents lived through most painful times of 19th century indeed
    no matter how strong you are it affects your nerve somehow
    still i agree perspective is most miraculous magic in this life

    ReplyDelete
  15. My grandmother lived from 1908 to 1997 and was never shy about sharing her observations on the world she lived in. To this day, I still wonder what she would think about all that has transpired since. 9/11 would have broken her heart. Trump, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder that as well. My maternal grandmother was born in 1901, my paternal was born in 1888. What would they have thought about life now? Wow.

      Delete
  16. That was my dad's timeline. He was born in 1905. Incredible events to live through and survive. Makes me think of people who won't even wear a mask, how pathetic is that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only those people knew just a bit of history and believed it to be true? Perhaps that would change the sense of being immune to what could happen.

      Delete
  17. That is one great way of looking at it. Putting the ages in there really punches it home.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Fascinating quote. In the Better Angels of our Nature Stephen Pinker addressed the period of the first part of The Twentieth Century and his it fits into human history. He sees the years 1904 to 1952 as the last of hemoclysms. That is a period in history where the worldwide death rate from war and mass murder skyrockets. The reasons why these things happen, and why they do not happen, is one of Pinker’s major themes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds like an excellent book that I would enjoy.

      Delete
  19. MawMaw was born in 1901, and lived until 1982. Yes, she saw it all, she survived some tough times. How i wish i had recorded what she told me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, same here. But technology in 1992 wasn't that great.

      Delete

Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!