It’s easy to let panic get the upper hand when we consider what is going on in the world. The media is awash with news of police shootings, terror in France, a seemingly irrational man running for President of the United States, gun violence, a volatile political situation in Turkey and the war in Syria. We seem to be living in turbulent times.
I am working on a series of stories for young people set in the 1960s. Those were my childhood and teen years. As I list possible topics for my stories, the Cuban missile crisis, the assassinations of President John Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, civil rights riots, the Vietnam War, student protests and the construction of the Berlin Wall I wonder if those times weren’t just as turbulent.
My sister was speaking in her church this past Sunday and wanted to talk about some of the experiences our grandparents had in the early 1920s in Ukraine before immigrating to Canada. I sent her the transcripts of interviews my aunt had done with my grandmother and grandfather. They described war, forced conscription, revolution, mass murder, home invasion, famine, bandit raids and loss of personal wealth and property. Turbulent times indeed!
President Barak Obama said in a recent speech that we are living in the most peaceful era in human history. I think we need to keep that in mind before we panic too much. Relatively speaking our times are probably not as turbulent as we think.
This post was updated in 2021. You can read it here.