Friday, August 7, 2015

Living In Fear

My life started in 1935 : as a youngster, if my parents' conversations weren't about the aftermath of the Great Depression, they lamented about the dark clouds over Europe indicating an escalation of German incursions into surrounding countries. America entered the Second World War as I entered grade school where my schoolmates and I practiced drills to crouch under our desks so we could ward off targeted fascist bombs.

For the rest of my life killing fields of war have occupied TV and the news papers with little respite from illustrated horrors sent out over the media. All my adult life I've been known as a tough guy and in sports, life, and business I've propelled this image. Although, my life has lived fully up to this image, down deeply, I've lived with a fear of the unknown especially through the years of global nuclear proliferation.

I'm no longer concerned with my life, it's coming to an end and I know it. But, as with all living organisms, life is a continuum. New generations sprout from the present one and, as this is repeated again and again, the species lives on. My concern is for my offspring that they will be able to live until they reach a normal lifespan.

It's the crazies of this World which trouble me. No longer are we in an era of the Great Khan, Genghis, who once ruled a quarter of the World.
His hordes defeated a tribe, killed the males, bred the females, stole their treasure, and burnt to the ground their buildings. It's simpler today, young looking servicemen and women in a hardened silo deep in the ground have a key, a screen, and a phone connection. Their orders are drummed into their heads. I'm sure there must be fail safe directives in their orders but, "if things can go wrong - over time they will go wrong" is a truism found often in the business world's dialog.
I may be too impressionable having lived my life fearful of the unknown consequences that the thought of war brings. One mistake can trigger "mutual assured destruction" that may trigger a life ending Nuclear Winter. The weight of conflict seems to be an ever growing burden on humanity and it seems to me that only through human dialog can the unthinkable be avoided.

Ronald C. Downie

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