Sunday, March 02, 2008

BYBS: Sanity

For a good part of my life I was convinced I was going to die in a nuclear war. The US and the USSR had thousands of weapons pointed at each other. One misstep, one mistake could cause the end of the world.

To me, this was humanity's ultimate demonstration of stupidity, paranoia and insanity. It was what was wrong with us. Why we deserved to become extinct.

But then something happened. More specifically nothing happened. Even more specifically, the US and the USSR did not obliterate each other.

I'm not sure how this affected anyone else, but for me, it was a life changing event. I was so used to being cynical, so set in the belief that there was no hope, that nothing could be changed. The knowledge that we as a race could avoid the choice of destruction for any reason was an option that simply did not exist in my world.

This was something whose benefits I still feel today. The more obvious is that I'm alive, but the more subtle is that now I'm not quite so cynical about people. I give them the benefit of the doubt. I have hope.

6 comments:

Paulie said...

We can all hope for continued sanity between nations. It is good to recognize it as a blessing!

SandyCarlson said...

I'm with you on this one. Growing up during the Cold War was a study in cynicism and knee-jerk responses driven by fear.

msdemmie said...

I lived through the cold war, and seeing the Berlin Wall come down - and the Cuban Missile crisis as well.

Hope is the one thing we can hold onto.

Happy BYB Sunday a2d have a great week.

CyberCelt said...

I grew up believing we were doomed as a race. I did not think I would live past 20 years old. I wasted many years living as if it were the end of the world, and it was not.

I worry about all the people being raised in war torn lands. It is too easy to lose hope.

Whatever said...

One thing about the "not-war" is that it is a triumph for all of humanity that can never be taken away.

OK, so if we end up nuking each other, then that would take away most of the benefit. But for me the possibility that we would take another path really didn't even exist until that point.

I guess you could say that this post was more about me than what happened.

Blue Panther said...

Having hope is the greatest thing of them all...and I have great hopes for the future of teh human race. :o)