On beauty, happiness, children and life in 1922 Germany...

@dawnald (84075)
Shingle Springs, California
March 19, 2010 12:31pm CST
I was working on translating another German letter from 1922. This is the 5th one of 6, from a cousin of my great-grandfather, dating from September 1922 to August 1923. There's a lot on those letters about how hard life was, inflation, illness, not enough to eat, people dying young, etc. etc. Segue into my life, which, all in all, has been pretty lucky. Sure, I have health problems, marital problems, child problems, etc., but there are enough bright spots to get me through it with my sanity and my sense of humor and my love or life more or less intact. Last year I went to see La Boheme, and there were a few parts that were so beautiful I almost cried. In the fall I went to the local art museum, and, while most of the pieces were "nice, nice, yeah nice", there were a few that touched me in some way that I can't really describe with words. I see a beautiful sunset or a rainbow or hold a purring cat and it makes me happy. I discover some new interesting fact about aardvarks or figure out a puzzle and that makes me happy too. Then there are the children. Most of the time, they make me laugh. But then there are times when I play music I like and they mock it or say it's embarrassing. I take them to a museum and it's all, "mom, hurry up and where's the gift shop". We go somewhere beautiful and I get, "geez mom it's just trees". But I like to think that they will get something from being shown what I like, what I appreciate, what I find interesting. And of course sometimes we do what they like too. Is this country going to continue to be prosperous, I wonder? Will my children have the opportunity to explore the things that make them happy? And what about the rest of the world's children, especially in those places where things are bad, there isn't enough to eat, there isn't adequate medical care, there is fighting, there is hatred? Will they end up going down a similar path as the Germans? Or is there something that the rest of us can do to stop it? Not the direction I was intending to go when I started this discussion. lol
6 people like this
10 responses
@savypat (20245)
• United States
19 Mar 10
Read Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, This will show you what is going on in remote places to make this a better world. It gives you real hope. I am only 3/4 through the book but it brings tears and smiles with each chapter. This is our County's book of the year through out library system. It means we are all encouraged to read it, there are special discussion groups, movies and lectures available all year on this book, within the country. It's a fun thing to do and you get to meet new people who live near you.
3 people like this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
I will put it on my list!
@GardenGerty (115993)
• United States
20 Mar 10
I will check and see if it is something I can get from my Library as well. I think I would like it.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
20 Mar 10
Haha, that's why I think a lot of people should be able to get travel allowance, whereby they can choose a country in which they can visit and experience the language, culture and many more. I'm glad you started out this discussion. I think the heritage of many things should be preserved, for future generations. Just for knowledge, if not for anything else.
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
20 Mar 10
Oh yeah, I'd like to add.. and make it compulsory to visit museums so that the olden days are relived through readings and whatnot.. In my country at least, we will always remember the Japanese occupation, which is probably the biggest impact ever that has happened in our country's history. But history is history.. the present must go on.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
20 Mar 10
Lots more cultural exchanges would be great!
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
23 Mar 10
Exactly..
19 Mar 10
Hi dawnald, The problem is people are getting too materialistic, they don't seem to notice the beauty thats around them, I myself love to see the sunshine in the morning and listen to the birs singing, also I love trees and look up at the full moon to see the beauty, I love the simple things like talking to my cats, laughing at them, the big surpise and the most wonderful thing was when I met our mylot friend Gabs and Gissi for the fist time, it was so lovely to have Gissi sit on my lap and to be liked by him, I don't like all the rat race when people only thinking about how much money they can have to buy the latest computer, people competing with each other, I just love life. Tamara
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
Did you seriously get to meet them? How cool!
19 Mar 10
Hi dawnald, Yes, there is a photo of Gissi and myself on her forum site on my page, Gabs took the photo. Tamara
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
Too bad I can't get there during the day, but I will try and remember tonight!
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
19 Mar 10
u ARE MAKING GOOD MEMORIES W/YOUR KIDS , dAWN & THAT IS WONDERFUL. tHEY MAY NOT ACT INPRESSED NOW BUT ONE DAY THEY WILL APPRECIATE WHAT U DID FOR THEM. i DON'T HAVE TOO MANY GOOD MEMORIES ABOUT MY MOTHER BUT HAVE WONDERFUL ONES OF MY GRANDMOTHERS. U seem to be such a good mom.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
I have some pretty good memories of some of the places my parents took us. I wonder if they have memories of us complaining about going there. :-)
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
19 Mar 10
If your parents are like mine were they never forgot u acting ugly, lol. Seemed they remembered things like that better than the good things. Omgosh, maybe i didn't do any good things.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
Yeah I feel like that sometimes too!
@saphrina (31738)
• South Africa
19 Mar 10
That letters must really be exiting to translate. You are lucky. One thing i would say. Everyone's star will shine, no matter what life throws at you. Your children will be just fine. They have their opportunities and they will succeed. TATA.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
They are quite interesting. Not only is it family history, but it kind of brings German history or that era to life for me!
@saphrina (31738)
• South Africa
19 Mar 10
Now that i will believe. Such a shame that we all tend to forget things like that. TATA.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (72836)
• India
20 Mar 10
Dawn, you are finally coming to where I am! I have always found it strange that when talks fail, people just start wars! Cant they use some other people to start further negotiations, even if they belong to opposition parties? Why do not for profit organization spend so much time organizing things for people who suffer due to wars, instead of coming up with ways and means to spread justice and equity so that people dont hate each other and do not feel denied anything. Wouldnt that be faster and cheaper way of tackling such problems? Imagine there would be no land mines, there would be no widows, no family left without food, I can only hope. My thoughts to end such things started when I read about holocaust, and Combodian massacres. But it was Nanking massacres that made me think, what are we really doing to ensure this doesnt happen again? And what can we really do? I found we were doing nothing.
@vandana7 (72836)
• India
21 Mar 10
As to children - Dawn they are much too young to understand such things I suppose. :( I took some beautiful things in my life for granted till I could afford them no more. So rest assured, they will remember these moments when they grow older and understand cultural differences, history, trees, and nature - everything that they associate with you. :)
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (115993)
• United States
20 Mar 10
In all lives there is and will continue to be beauty. Maybe not what we see as beauty, but the capacity for appreciating beauty is in everyone. I do not know if that makes sense. There are just some things that are bigger than we are. I hope that we are helping all the children of the world. It is in our capacity to raise each other up, but will we?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
20 Mar 10
At least in some small way, hopefully.
• Australia
19 Mar 10
I thought you had abandoned your Friday "hard" question, Dawn, but you are making us think again. There is beauty everywhere when we care to see it - beauty in nature, beauty in life, beauty in relationships, beauty in everything. There is also suffering everywhere. Sometimes we try not to see it, sometimes we try to do something about it, and more often than not we just pass on by. Life is a mixture. Life would be boring if it was ALL beauty. As the old saying goes, the mountains would not be so grand without the valleys. We need the low times to appreciate the high times. Modern technology, especially in medicine, has made life a lot easier. Modern sociology has made life harder with no clear-cut lines for our young people. Without boundaries, they are defeated. I often think that the "poorer" nations have missed the advances (modern technology) we take for granted but as far as appreciating life and maintaining family values and morals goes (sociology) they are ahead of us. One thing all people who have been to Cambodia and Vietnam remark on is the obvious joy of the people who never stop smiling. If we were living in their situation we would never smile! One thing we learn from history is the fact that we never learn from history. Will they end up going on a similar path as the Germans? No doubt - but the outcome might not be the same. Or is there something that the rest of us can do to stop it? We tend to think that our little bit can't help. Maybe the help we give is lost in the big picture, but for the ones we DO help, the benefit is enormous. Sponsoring a child through Compassion, World Vision or other agencies is one way we can help make a better life for individuals.
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
I'm sorry, but EoE sent me a bunch of links to articles that made me think. Scary...
@1hopefulman (45849)
• Canada
19 Mar 10
It's great that despite everything you have a positive outlook, and hopefully your children will come to appreciate some of the things you love. And as far as the future is concerned, some of us have come to realize that the world will not change for the better automatically. We can't rule the world and use the resources properly. We were never made to rule the world. There are just too many bad people that are bent on selfishness, greed, mayhem, and destruction. We need superhuman help to run the world properly. Only God can help us. Will God intervene in the affairs of mankind in the future? I believe He will. In the meantime all we can do is all we can do. “I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
Being agnostic, I'm not certain God is even there, much less that God will intervene. But it's a nice thought.
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
19 Mar 10
Hello, Dawn. You've just proved the point I always make when people say does history really matter. It matters, because when you read of the lives of others who went before you, it makes you think about your own life, and where it's going. Anything that makes you think, instead of just accepting things as they are, has to be a good thing. I think you and your kids will be just fine.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 10
Would be nice if it would make the folks who are running this joint think! :-)