We live in the best of times…
In the grand arc of history, and notwithstanding all the strife in the world, we are so lucky to be born and to live in these very decades.
Perhaps all generations look both backward at the harshness of history, and forward at uncertainty and possible catastrophe, and say the same thing.
I could have been born centuries ago, and like 99% of those who ever lived on this earth, had a challenging, brief and brutal existence.
I could have been born at the end of the 19th century in my own home town, and found myself amongst these men (through draft, if not choice) heading to the horror that was the fronts during World War I. Or born in the 1940s USA and sent to VietNam. Or born in modern-day poverty, not making it to my first birthday.
Sometimes it is good to reflect on how relatively well-off we are. Both in the context of today’s world, and in the arc of history. Our problems are still “problems” – but there is no excuse for not continually striving to fix them. After all, if our forefathers hadn’t, we might still be walking our bicycle up Castle St in Omagh, headed to the trenches.
PS: If you are interested in World War I, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is currently doing a series of podcasts. I highly recommend them.