Recently I read an article that stated young people view their lives today as the hardest possible times anyone’s ever experienced. Apparently living through a year of Covid and having to endure four years with Donald Trump as president has been so incredibly traumatizing to twenty-something’s that they can hardly go on.
Between having no mortgage or car payments and trying to fit in but at the same time be unique and keeping up with the latest technological innovations in cell phones or getting up at 7 am to get to work or to class, and having nothing to watch on Netflix when they get home is just too much to bare.
Life, they feel is hardly worth living.
I think it’s time for a little perspective. So let’s go back to another time in American history. I want all young people to imagine for a moment you were born in 1900 instead of 2000.
If you were born just one hundred years earlier when you turned 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 about 20 years old. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million people die.
When you’re 29, the Great Depression begins, and unemployment hits 25% and global GDP drops an astonishing 27%. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy and that goes on until you are 33.
When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet and you’ve lived to see a second world war.
When you’re 41, the United States is fully involved in WWII, and between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in that war and the Holocaust kills six million people.
At the ripe old age of 52, the Korean War starts and five million more people perish.
Then at 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict.
Oh yeah, and somewhere 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, but great leaders prevented that from happening.
As you turn 75 or so, 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 survived through everything listed above.
Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective, and stop thinking you’re the only person who’s having a hard time of it.
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, and this too, shall pass.
Now shut up and stop whining.