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NUKES: Are We Worse Than Nazis?
What will our legacy be? How will today's generations go down in history?
Imagine that you worked 80 hour weeks for decades so that you could leave me, your child, a big inheritance. Then you died and I got the money.
Now imagine that I blew it all the money you worked so hard for in 6 weeks of boozing, gambling and hooking up with hookers in Las Vegas. “WOO HOO!! Let’s get this party started!!!” I can be heard yelling across the casino.
I could have done what you did and added more money to the pile and then passed it on to my kids. But nah, on with the partying!!
Isn't this almost who we are?
My grandfather started working at age 11 when his father died of tuberculosis, and the family who could no longer pay the rent was promptly tossed out of their apartment on to the street. There were no welfare payments, no unemployment insurance, no social security, no food stamps, no safety net in 1910. If you couldn’t pay the bill, you didn’t eat, and you slept out in the rain.
My grandfather went on to work all day every day six days a week his whole life as he raised four kids during the Depression. He had some modest success with his own small printing business and age 65 was in a position to retire.
But after six weeks of retirement my grandfather went back to work. He had no hobbies, no interests beyond his business, and no idea of how to relax, not a clue, as nothing in his life had prepared him for having fun.
I have a photo of my grandfather sitting with my grandmother on a hotel balcony in Hawaii, the one trip they took anywhere beyond Syracuse New York in their entire lives. As the warm Hawaiian sun lights the scene, perplexed confusion covers my grandfather’s face as he struggles to grasp this alien environment where it’s not snowing, there are no deadlines, no demanding customers, and no printing presses for him to manage.
Work. My grandfather knew how to work. But relax?? What’s that?
It's people like this, many millions of them, who created the modern civilization we now take for granted. Long before the 40 work week was invented, these hardy souls worked all day every day but Sunday for very low pay, mining the coal, building the factories and dams, digging tunnels under rivers, laying pavement over dirt streets, and all the other gritty dangerous work that was needed to build the infrastructure we enjoy today. While these were hard times for so many, they comforted themselves knowing they were building a better world for their children.
We their children inherited the great wealth passed down to us, and are today the richest and most comfortable people ever to walk this Earth thanks to the great sacrifices of those who came before us. Endless centuries of humans couldn't even dream of what we have.
And it all could be lost in an hour.
Somebody screws up, something goes wrong, or some geopolitical psychopath gets greedy, and the ICBM's start flying, the nukes start falling, and before you know it all the miracles that you and I have been handed on a silver platter are over.
Poof! In an hour. Or maybe 30 minutes. The miracle of modern civilization was here, and now....
Just like that.
And it's not just us that are the losers. Centuries of our descendants might have also enjoyed the great gifts given to us by our ancestors, but sorry, that's all over now too. Thanks to our casual disregard of nuclear weapons, those who follow us may live in agony, scratching to survive, seeking shelter from the elements, suffering from disease, overwhelmed by the never ending search for their next meal. No fun trips to the casino for them.
We know all this already. We've heard it all before. And it bores us. We rarely think about it. So we rarely talk about it. So naturally, we pretty much never do anything about it. Because, hey, we've got a party to go to!! Woo hoo!!!
Sure, we respect our parents, and we love our kids too. We sincerely believe that, we do. But is that really true? Or is our love really a pile of phony BS with a sappy Hallmark greeting card wallpapered over it?
Ok, so I suppose we aren't really that evil. We’re probably just incurably stupid.
I feel better now, don't you?
If the worse does happen, and on our present course it probably will, we'll go down as the most hated generation in what's left of human history.
Our descendants won't be cursing the Nazis.
For centuries to come our descendants will be cursing us. You and me.
Oh never mind, hey, do you have any chips left? I think I'm gonna make one more run at the gaming tables! WOO HOO!!
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