A letter of perspective: Imagine you were born in 1900.

On your 14th birthday, World War I starts — killing 22 million people. It ends when you’re 18. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you’re 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

When you’re 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25 percent, world GDP drops 27 percent. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.

When you’re 39, World War II starts. As you become 41, the United States is fully pulled into World War II. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.

At 50, the Korean War starts and 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. Four million people perish in that conflict.

Hardship is part of life. That was an accepted principle 100 years ago.

Donald Bousquet