I was born in February, 1946. Average life expectancy had been dramatically lowered by WW2 which had ended a couple of months before..
Oddly enough, along with that lowered life expectancy went a greater acceptance of life’s fragile nature and a greater willingness to risk it.
Some of my first memories as a young lad are when I was four and of going outside the back door to sit in the sun while having my breakfast cup of coffee (Nescafe) and my first cigarette of the day. Gloriously contemplative moments that I continued to treasure right up until I quit smoking (not coffee!) eighteen months ago at the age of 74. I greatly miss those moments, but, after seventy years, a bit of a toll had been taken by my lungs. All good things must come to an end.
The point is that neither I nor my mother had any fear that they might harm me. Sure they might, but so might crossing the road was the attitude. And rightly so.
Polio roared through schools in the 1950s, leaving many children crippled for life. Schools didn’t close and my mother didn’t warn me to be careful; in fact, she didn’t even mention it. I found out about it from the newspaper, which I sometimes read when having that first coffee and cigarette (I could read by the age of four – it was not uncommon back then when education standards, come to think of it – all standards, were far higher).
Today, many people live lives that cause them to jump if they see their own shadows. They literally live their lives in a state of constant fear.
The joy of life is inversely proportional to the fear of death and a fear of death is a fear of life – death is just the focus.
Those who don’t know how to live, won’t know how to die.
In the 21st century in ‘the West’, there is one other factor that intrudes. The success of 20th century governments in forging and fostering the fictitious idea that they exist to look after people has devalued personal survival skills. They used to be the measure of a person’s worth. Now, that measure has a dollar sign before it.
At the beginning of 2022, black clouds are again beginning to swirl across the skies of history. Life expectancy is about to become much shorter and people accordingly will become much braver. That will be a great improvement.
The gene stock of humanity is dangerously polluted and needs the good clean out that is coming. The weak, low I.Q., perverted, immune compromised and elderly (oops) will be disposed of and a sturdier, braver, smarter and more survival-orientated people will emerge.
Then the process of building a new civilization will begin – again.