The most recent horrendous massacre that occurred in Sandy Hook, Connecticut was an inconceivable act by a madman! Those innocent children with so much to look forward to ended in a flash! This atrocity goes down in history as the worst event to touch the US, second only to Columbine.
This act of violence coupled with natural catastrophes such as Japan’s nuclear meltdown, Katrina, the multitude of earthquakes, floods, tsunami’s, tornados and hurricanes as recent as Sandy are not within our control and that makes them even more frightening! Yet the things within our control such as manmade disasters of environmental magnitude, as well as multiple wars, world hunger, dictatorships abusing their people with starvation and deprivation, gun violence and the rising numbers of horrendous crime, many find themselves comparing the future to what they remember in the past. Life seemed easier, freer, safer, and calmer when they were kids, but was it really?
After all, we grew up with the threat of the world ending with nuclear war. Air raid drills were part of our weekly practices, and there was no environmental consciousness. People threw trash out of their car windows while driving, polluted our waterways and wasted precious energy. Don’t forget the “Me Generation” where it was acceptable to be self-centered and selfish. We had our wars and atrocities of world famine, gorilla and chemical warfare, as well as the loss of many great leaders such as Martin Luther King, Ghandi, John F. Kennedy and music greats, John Lennon, Jimi Hendix, Janis Joplin and Brian Morrison. The grass may seem greener, but it isn’t. We all have our set of balance to live through.
Balance is the key word for with every catastrophe comes an achievement, a breakthrough, a miraculous achievement and a time to look at ‘the beauty’ that’s happen in our lifetime. We progressed in science enough to land men on the moon and do space travel. Medicine advancements cured diseases that use to kill multitudes of people in the past. We wiped out epidemics, stopped plagues and offered hope to those suffering with cancer, HIV and many mental health issues.
Communism was thwarted with the breakdown of the iron curtain, civil rights were born and equal rights for women followed. Labor laws saved many abused children and immigrant workers and we made tremendous progress in environmental consciousness.
Do you remember the unsettling 1964 presidential campaign commercial for Lyndon B. Johnson of the daisy and the little girl and nuclear threat? Perhaps the threat is still with us, but we have had disarmament and are much wiser. We can’t forget the the Native American on horseback, a single tear in his eye, as garbage from a passing by car is thrown at his feet? Now we conserve energy, recycle and do everything ‘green.’ We’ve come a long way in many instances.