Imagine you were born in 1900.

  • On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war.
  • Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.
  • On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.
  • When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath.
  • On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII.
  • Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.
  • At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish.
  • At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict.
  • On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.
  • When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.


Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet they survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art, refined as time goes on.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

3 thoughts

  1. Hi Janet, I have seen these words stolen and with some changes and some different endings added, usually used to attract people to business pages on social media. Are you the original author? I always like to make sure intellectual property is respected and I search for originators before ‘sharing.’ Thanks, Kerri

    1. Hello Kerri – sadly, I am not the original author. Before publishing it I did a search for the text so I could correctly source it. At least a dozen different names came up, all on Facebook. So if you do find the original author, please please let me know so I can credit them for this amazing work. As you know, I source whenever I can so would love a name to put to the text, and a person to thank for this wonderful perspective on things.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Janet.

    Really puts things in perspective!

    My dear ol’ grandma (may she RIP…), was born either in 1899 or 1900…..and passed in ’85….so, she went through all you describe….and never complained…….

    My parents (may they RIP….) similar….dad born in ’25 and mom in ’29…..

    Dad was 18 when he entered the army in WWII….was captured in the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ (or Ardennes Counteroffensive…) and spent the rest of the war in a German Stalag (POW camp). Had lost about half his weight by time the camp was liberated. At least he made it home, and I’m here to tell the story…..there’s quite a bit more to the story….

    So, don’t think I have much to complain about…….



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