What We All can Learn from “The Greatest Generation”
The last few days social media have been exploding thanks to this new mandatory mask debate. People on both sides are answering Facebook questions, sharing their own opinions, and going after those who disagree. Seeing how we are so divided is insane. “It’s unconstitutional! You can’t make me!” or “It’s for the benefit of others. Get over yourself!” Both sides going back and forth and it’s not really getting anywhere.
During the majority of this pandemic, I have thought a lot about "The Greatest Generation.” Not just the book written by Tom Brokaw but the group of people themselves. These people not only lived through the Great Depression but the second world war as well. Talk about crazy times to live in. Now, don’t take this as me undermining what is happening today. It’s very serious as too. However, there is something missing. Unity.
If you have ever read Brokaw’s book “The Greatest Generation” you will notice that unity is the common theme. The sense of pride in where you come from and doing everything you could to serve that community. Every chapter ends with someone echoing this theme. This isn’t referring to just those who served on the front lines. Citizens on the home front did what they could to make sure America would pull through together. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. There was a sense of duty to take care of one another and a sense of pride in doing so.
Women went to work in the factories and took care of their families. Citizens rationed food. War bonds were sold and purchased. Young men signed up to serve in the armed forces left and right. Again, because it’s what they were asked to do. Yes, it disrupted their lives. Many people ultimately gave their lives during this time. All in an effort to help bring down one of the biggest threats the world has ever seen.
We’ve been asked to stay home, keep socially distant from each other, and yes, wear a dang mask. All in an effort to get through this crazy time together. That’s what I think we all need to take away from the men and women of "The Greatest Generation." Where they all perfect? No. But look at what happened when the dust finally settled. America started growing into what it has become today. We tend to forget just how lucky we are that we can call this piece of land home.
I’ll get off my soapbox now and end with this. The next time you see a post or idea or mandate you don’t agree with, don’t immediately lash out and condemn whatever was said. Rather, take a second and think about it. Maybe this person has a point. Maybe doing this thing will help all of us. During times like this, we need to be on the same page and not freak out about every little thing we don’t like. That’s how we beat things like this. By taking care of one another.