We live in tough times. I’m reminded of the 1960s, a decade that can be compared to ours. John Kennedy becomes president and in 1962 the Soviet Union installs nuclear missiles in Cuba. Kennedy sends a force to Cuba to urge citizens to oppose Castro. That failed.
In 1963 Kennedy is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. The Civil Rights Act is signed. The Students for a Democratic Society is born, a nonviolent movement in opposition to the Vietnam War. The SDS held a passionate, if somewhat naive, belief that a nonviolent youth movement could transform U.S. society into a model political system in which the people, rather than just the social elite, would control social policy.
Martin Luther King Jr. led civil rights marches in Alabama and is killed by James Earl Ray. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission lands Aldrin and Armstrong on the Moon. USSR tests the hydrogen bomb. On June 5,1968, Robert Kennedy is shot by Sirhan Sirhan shortly after midnight at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles.
Yes, the ‘60s were deadly but democracy was never under attack
Today’s world may be very different but global stress can be compared. Today’s world may be much worse than the ‘60s. The 21st century gives birth to COVID – a killer which respects no boundaries. Add to that new technologies, economic hardship and inflation, the fear of a nuclear war, the threats to climate, the spread of guns and the warring political parties. We carry all those on our backs. But no civil war or assassinations so far.
I’ve advocated practical ways of healing in the past. One I’ve left out is walking a dog or caressing a cat. If we are drowning in stress and disorder, with few ways peacefully to escape them, we need some calm and our animal friends can lift us to focus on their warmth and love.
My wife and I have a Lab, Byrdie, and we walk her at least six times a day. For me, Simpson Garden Park offers relaxation as I reflect on the wonders of nature and talk to Byrdie. I often give credit to her when a great idea arrives and I take a deep breath and sigh.
(Klein, a frequent contributor to the Sentinel-Tribune opinion page, died last week.)