Blessed Generation

Every day I count my blessings for being born when and where I was. Someone probably said the same thing as he was looking out over the Bay of Naples from the prosperous city of Pompeii in 79 AD. We can’t know the future but we can appreciate the past – especially if you have been lucky.

As it is, I had the great good fortune to have lived, so far, in peacetime and in an age of unparalleled economic prosperity in a country of freedom and law in a middle class family with all that implies in terms of stability and education. I also hit, as a young man, the only twenty-five years in human existence when you could have sex without getting pregnant or contracting a disease that killed or ruined you. I missed the wars that devastated my parents’ and grandparents’ generations. The newspaper headlines may make grim reading today, but reading  a copy of the Times from 1938, as I did the other day, and you get a real sense of perspective.

This is not smugness. Someone said that the there are too many people around who think they hit a home run - but started at third base. I hope that this is quite the opposite of that – an appreciation of the lucky spot I was born into. I didn’t deserve it – but I can appreciate it.

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