Throughout history, mankind has attempted to make life better for themselves. We've created medicines, HVAC systems, homes, and cars. We've harnessed water, electricity, fire, wind, and even the power of the sun. Our average life expectancy is the longest it's even been in recorded human history, and aside from abortion, a first world citizen can expect to live past 70 with relative certainty.
And while our forefathers would likely be proud to have borne a nation such as ours that sparked this kind of lifespan increase around the world, there remains a negative along with it, a thorn between the roses if you will. That thorn? We've become completely detached from the fragility of life.
Infant mortality, without abortion, used to be 50%. It has since plummeted to virtually none, but any objective study of history will tell you that, again, aside from abortion, we can reasonably expect to "live long and prosper," thank you Mr. Spock. The number of people who die from natural causes has also gone down as medicines have eradicated a number of diseases that killed people by the thousands.
All of this had led us to a point where we have developed a bit of an invulnerability complex. We've become to disconnected with the fact that people die that we now are completely lost when someone we love dies. Having a long lifespan isn't bad, and not dying from disease isn't bad, but coming to a point where we believe that our continued living is worth absolutely anything it takes to make it so? That's a problem, and we're seeing it in society today.
You see, we've become so risk adverse as a society, that even a .7% chance that we could die is too much for us. When we hear 1.4%, we tremble in our boots. Newsflash, those guys who stormed Normandy? Their chances were worse than 50-50. The people who sailed for the new world? Well, a recounting of the number of ships lost in the Atlantic Ocean and Carrabin Sea should give you an understanding of their chances, let alone scurvey, pirates, starvation, and dehydration even if your boat stayed in one piece.
How in the world did they ever live like that? The "emotional trauma" that their society must have lived through!!! No, simply put, they were tougher than us, and they were more in tune with the realities of both life and death. So taking a risk that could lead to death? It wasn't as big of a deal to them. Yet for our generation, who fears death more than anything else, well, it's easy to see why people are reacting to things today they way they are.
As a veteran, who came about 15 feet of space and two feet of concrete close to having my wife weeping at my grave, I guess I have a much different perspective. I want to live, but there are so many things bigger than me, greater than me, more important than me. I can't imagine being trapped in a mindset where it's all about me and my survival.
I mistakenly projected that same mindset onto our society pre COVID and everything else. Wow, was I ever surprised to be as wrong as I was.
We have become a nation of people for whom survival is the highest ideal. Morality? Principle? Patriotism? Future Generational Prosperity? None of it, in their minds, is worth laying down your life. And we haven't even touched Philosophy and Religion for which almost no one would lay down their lives today. No, it's because we value ourselves far more than anything else.
I can't live like that. I won't live like that. Our country, it's freedoms, it's history, it's story, it's culture, even the bad things that have happened that I wish to the good Lord hadn't, are all worth so much more than me, or you, or the person sitting next to you.
It doesn't seem like that long ago that JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country."
Today such a sentiment would get laughed off the stage.
And we're all worse for it.