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Our generation's turn now

(44 Posts)
Granny23 Sun 03-May-20 10:16:19

I was sent this on Facebook this morning. It did make me think that most of us have had a charmed life so far. We have been able to complete our education, work hard and 'get on' , travel, see our children and grandchildren grow up.
Yes there have been wars and terrorist attacks but nothing that has affected the entire Country (world) that comes close to the pandemic we are facing now. I hope we are rising to the challenges we face as previous generations have done.

Imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that?

Jane10 Sun 03-May-20 11:22:46

That was my grandparent's life experience apart from the Vietnam wars etc. They certainly were a resilient and intrepid bunch. Those hard times forced them into it. In family experience my grandmothers and great aunts were real doers, and got stuck into all sorts of jobs, many not previously seen as 'women's work'.
The next generation of women in particular seemed to shrink back into a more home based less outgoing group.

25Avalon Sun 03-May-20 11:26:06

They didn’t have all this social media then.

luluaugust Sun 03-May-20 11:43:46

My FIL was born 1902 and had a hard life, orphaned early on, in the 1940's he lost his wife, a son and his FIL in a very short space of time. He was later affected by losing his job in one of the downturns.

As to the women becoming more home based I do wonder how many mums would now like to stay at home rather than go back to commuting and jobs.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 03-May-20 12:19:11

Mum died this year at 101. She lived through it all except perhaps the 1st WW as she was born only 3 months before the end of the Great War.

I definitely think their experiences informed their outlook.

Perhaps this pandemic will inform those living through it now, although I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Juliet27 Sun 03-May-20 12:22:35

My aunt was born in 1900. She would have been such a wonderful mum but available men were few and far between for all the reasons given.

notanan2 Sun 03-May-20 12:31:34

They didnt all "rise to the challenge". Total myth that they were all made of stoic stuff.

Domestic crime went up when the international fighting stopped.

PTSD Domestic violence. Social tribalism (certain branches of military shunned and others heroed depending on where they happened to be posted at certain points)

"How did they survive". Not all of them did. And not all of then thrived during and after

Lots of women did not return to being "home based" by choice. They were forced to hand their wartime roles back to returning men. It was no domestic bliss situation. No contraception. Married to traumatised ex soldiers or shamed and shunned for being abandoned.

It wasnt an admirable period

Sussexborn Sun 03-May-20 12:32:31

The one thing they didn’t have to contend with is the explosion of social media. It has been brilliant finding others and information on a rare health condition but currently it’s been hard not to get dragged down by the huge number of “experts” second guessing every decision made and using it to rant about their own ideology.

I’ve been impressed how well most people have cooperated with the guidelines and that so many have gone out of their way to help others and the kindness and generosity that’s prevailed.

Jane10 Sun 03-May-20 12:34:48

I wouldn't decry it though. It most likely paved the way to the women's liberation movement of the 60s. Women had proved that they were as good as men in almost all avenues of life. Interesting times (with all that that implies!)

Jane10 Sun 03-May-20 12:35:42

My post was in response to notanan2

notanan2 Sun 03-May-20 12:45:39

No doubt it was a century of much development

But the sentiment that those generations were more admirable in their facing of those challenges that current generations would be is just being a poor hostorian. Tribalism organised crime and gang activity were common if you look at it without rose tints. Neighbours ostracised and turned on neighbours as soon as help them. It was a mixed bag. Not a whole generation if "good uns"

Jane10 Sun 03-May-20 13:41:09

People are all different in this generation too notanan2! I personally know many excellent women who rose to the various challenges that arose in the first half of the last century. This thread isn't an examination of all history with an index and footnotes etc. It's a response to a Facebook posting!!

Callistemon Sun 03-May-20 14:39:55

My father was born in 1899 so was in the Forces in WW1 and stayed in, therefore in WW2 as well and was lucky to survive both.
He saw parts of the world he would not have seen and yphorizons opened up go for my mother too. He saw the rise of his beloved Labour Party, the birth of the NHS, better housing at affordable prices for many, better education for his children and grandchildren.

As well as the many downsides there was also opportunities for hope and optimism.

Callistemon Sun 03-May-20 14:41:04

horizons opened up for my mother as she was able to live and travel overseas.

JoyBloggs Sun 03-May-20 15:22:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JoyBloggs Sun 03-May-20 15:25:47

Sincere apologies everyone, posted on the wrong thread blush

JoyBloggs Sun 03-May-20 15:36:37

I've reported myself and asked for the post to be removed.

Jane10 Sun 03-May-20 15:43:20

Oh JoyBloggs please don't worry. I'm sure we've all done that at some point!

JoyBloggs Sun 03-May-20 16:37:30

Thank you, Jane smile

ColeGray Sat 20-Aug-22 21:23:18

Thank you for the interesting story about your life. My grandfather told me about the Vietnam War. Since I love to study history, I found where I could read more about the war. And learned many interesting facts.

Chestnut Sun 21-Aug-22 10:09:46

Granny23 I have often thought about this, how a person born 1890-1900 had to live through two world wars, a depression and a terrible 'flu pandemic. My mother was born 1915 but most of those things affected her.

However, unless you were wealthy, previous generations had so much worse to contend with, including child labour.

1950-2000 has probably been the best period to be alive in history, and we are very lucky to have been born into that generation. We've had no world wars and have been able to travel the world, have free healthcare, enjoy the best music and watch the best movies. We've also been free from smartphones and everything that goes with them.

FannyCornforth Sun 21-Aug-22 10:33:57

Early Covid Pandemic thread reanimated by spam (reported)

Callistemon21 Sun 21-Aug-22 10:42:16

My father was born in 1899 so just old enough to be involved in the Forces in WW1 and not too old to be involved in WW2.

MayBee70 Sun 21-Aug-22 10:54:54

I went to a very good grammar school but we were very poor and lived in a slum property. I was bullied because of it but dread to think what the bullying would have been like if there had been smart phones and social media. However we bought a house for £10,000 that increased dramatically in value. The Thatcher years were hard, though, with the constant threat of unemployment and a family meal out was a once a year treat paid for by a friend of ours who had no children of his own. I remember being terrified of the threat of nuclear war. But I never dreaded growing old in this country the way that I do now. I’ll never forget having an American chap staying with us who told us how much debt he had because of his university education and thinking how lucky we were in this country to be able to go to university and come out of it debt free! Given that we tend to follow America health care will be next. A very thought provoking thread, though, and one that I’ll be pondering on for a while.

Skydancer Sun 21-Aug-22 11:00:32

My dear Gran, who experienced everything the OP describes, used to say there was nothing good about "The Good Old Days". I don't know how they survived 2 wars.