OK, raise your hands; how many had their Thanksgiving plans altered, modified, changed, revised, amended or tailored this year? Yeah, us too. Not that it wasn’t a most pleasant day, it was, Bobbi made a terrific dinner, we enjoyed each other’s company, spoke and Face-timed with family and toasted to better days.
Hopefully most folks made the best of the day and enjoyed whatever gathering they may have attended, however limited. Meanwhile, few disagree that some policies regarding lockdowns, school closures, distancing, mask wearing etc., have had deleterious effects on the population. And while our president (in my opinion) has been unfairly criticized regarding the federal government’s response to the virus, I feel that Operation Warp Speed’s development of at least two vaccines within ten months is very heady news indeed.
I sense another positive development too. I believe people are beginning to shift away from fear-fueled decision- making and are embracing policies that balance Covid-19 prevention with activities that give life its meaning & purpose. Nonetheless, until this scourge is gone it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride for all of us.
On a very personal level however, I want to comment on my generation, i.e., those who were born in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. I truly believe that my generation is perhaps the most fortunate generation ever because COVID has been our first encounter with true adversity. My generation was the first generation in recorded history to be born into a society without war, want or pestilence.
Now that’s a pretty broad-brush statement so allow me to refine it a bit. Every generation in every society throughout history has suffered some type of circumstance or society altering event; or has existed in conditions bordering on unbearable. Perhaps it was war, famine, dislocation, oppression, religious/ political persecution, forced labor, slavery, open rebellion, economic depression, genocide and of course, pandemics—in other words, no Utopia exists in recorded history. And a quick stroll through history should disabuse anyone of believing it was better to raise your children in some bygone era.
Of course, my generation has and is still experiencing inequities, especially regarding gender and skin color, but I’m referring to the horrific events that altered entire societies. Events that affected tens or perhaps even hundreds of millions of people, i.e., the Bubonic Plague, the Mongol Conquests, the great famines in Europe and Asia, World Wars I & II, or the devastation caused by colonization in Africa and the Americas.
So, whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, and begin dwelling on these ‘terribly unjust incommodities COVID has visited upon me,’ I reflect upon the fact that for 75-years, my generation has had it pretty damn good. Yes, we have experienced racial problems, recessions, embargoes, discrimination, unpopular wars, etc., etc., but those events pale in comparison to what other societies throughout history have endured, even down to recent times in the Middle East where ISIS enslaved, raped, and crucified thousands while causing the largest refugee crisis since WWII. So, to me it’s really a matter of perspective.
COVID is certainly not any fun, and it’s adversely affecting the lives of all of us; but when I look at the world-at-large, I cannot help but acknowledge how fortunate my generation has been for three quarters of a century. So, to tell the truth, I have a very hard time complaining about anything these days. And for that I am very thankful.
Quote of the day: “When life’s problems seem overwhelming, look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself fortunate.”—Ann Landers