Hilda Graham: "I wrote this sometime ago and it seems the world is not improving. Now our children have even more to fear. How sad this is. Hope you can use this one."
It is sad, Hilda, that children cannot just be children, not exposed to terrible tragedies and constant anxiety. Especially I don't understand how they can function in overcrowded, dangerous schools with drugs, death, violence and massacre a daily threat. I asked my teenage granddaughter, a week or so afterward, what the kids at school were saying about the Twin Towers attack and the threat to the USA by extremists. She said they didn't talk about it; after all, there was nothing they could do. Sad, but true.
I read a lot of history as a youngster, biographies, writings from centuries past, philosophy and historical novels. It gave me perspective on society, not necessarily a good thing at that tender age. Our recent ancestors worried about Indian attacks, illness with no remedies and the dreadful Civil War, pitting brother against brother. Our parents suffered through the great depression in the USA and many other countries, with famine, loss of property, etc., and the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be bombs exploding in WWII. As youngsters we worried through WWII, then learned to hide under our desks as practice for when the Russians lobbed missiles armed with atomic bombs. The most popular fellow in 9th grade, already elected valedictorian, died of bulbar polio two weeks before graduation, and a boy elected to the honor society, headed for a career perhaps as a surgeon or researcher, ended up in an iron lung for life. I worried constantly about not fitting in, being "different" in interests, abilities and expectations than the other girls. And so it goes. Each generation has its own tribulations. But we suffer for the young ones, don't we? Does it have to be that way? I believe not; we CAN make a difference. But will we? History makes us doubtful. We can only try, and one by one, do our best. Hilda's poem:
Is This The Real World ?
Come into the real world;
Copyrightę Hilda Graham 11-7-97