A Little Girl and Her Sheltie
Charles Burton Barber
When I was a little girl, I was afraid of everything. I grew up during the Cold War -- an age of fear. People were constantly afraid. Every day, the news broadcasts led with the latest posturing between the U.S.S.R. and the Western nations. There were "Commies" hiding under every bed, never mind bogeymen. During the Cold War, each nation developed and tested the latest in ghastly weapons with the potential to wipe out all life on earth. And as if that weren't enough, we were visited on a daily -- nightly -- basis by little grey men who astral-projected themselves down from UFOs hovering over our cities. Livestock were mutilated, and people were abducted and had horrible experiments performed on them, usually involving long needles and other devices of torture. Commies under the bed and aliens outside the bedroom window. It was a scary time, I'll tell you.
Today, October 28, 2012, is the 50th anniversary of that stare-down. During the years since then, we have had plenty of fear mongers, still trying to create anxiety in people. And I'm still p*ssed. Hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, tsunamis are not acts of God. God is not mad at us. These things are not signs that the world is going to end on December 21st, they are simply acts of nature. In the last 50 years since the world stepped back from the brink of annihilation, we have ticked along pretty much as we did before. People go about their lives, for the most part just minding their own business, and getting along the best they can. There are still countries where ideologies clash, leaders that still play silly buggers with each other, and innocent lives that are lost as a result. But these are not acts of God. They are acts of man.
I'm angry that I spent my childhood being afraid. And for what? Ideologies, philosophies, religions and political beliefs come and go. People agree to disagree. But I pray we never again come as close to complete obliteration of mankind as we did on those 13 days in October 1962.