Our parents and grandparents did not go through life without such horrible events. They knew of global wars with hundreds, even thousands of daily casualties. Our forebears knew of the Great Depression. I remember being a young boy and sitting in the living room of my great-uncle Sam, for whom I am named, listening to him telling us stories from his life. He was 73 years my senior. Some of his stories were from firsthand accounts of life in a CivilWar prison camp told to him by his grandfather. Some were of his childhood. Some were from the Great Depression and lengths that he went to to make a living and keep him and my aunt Tecola under a roof with something to eat.
"Back during the depression we usually didn't have anything to eat but beans." He once told us. And then he chuckled and continued, "You know what they put on a man's tombstone that ate nothing but beans? 'Gone with the wind.'" His memories of the Great Depression could bring him to a joke. Part of that levity came from that era being 50 years in his past. Part of it was surely him realizing that he was in his last few years on this earth and could look back on hard times with fondness. Part of it was due to the irony that he wasn't a particularly wealthy man even then. But I think part of it had to be the result of those times. When times are bad you have to find something positive. And that was what got him through the Great Depression.
So that is what I'm suggesting in this post. In the course of our lives we have to find something positive to lessen the bite of the assault on our senses. The laughter of a child, some really good music, the beauty of our natural world. Stop for a minute. Take it in. Let it soak into your soul. Don't unplug from reality and give up but allow yourself something uplifting, encouraging, and beautiful to compete with all that ugliness.
So slow down. Take a deep breath. Sit on the porch and look at nothing in particular. Allow yourself to notice the small things. Notice the beauty in your everyday life. It's there but you have to notice it.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire