Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 100th Dad

My Father, George Hanbury Smith, would have turned 100 years old on July 2nd. Obviously he is not around these days for achieving the age of 100 is a monumental accomplishment. Many people do and so many more people do not.

So why do I write about my Father’s would be 100th birthday? It’s probably more because I am old enough to see what a victory life is over the alternative. If you look at it with just numbers my Dad was born when the United States was only 132 years old.

And when I think of all the technological achievements humankind has accomplished in those 100 years I am flabbergasted.

In 1908 the Wright Brothers were hardly known for flight was so new. The Model T was new. The North Pole was about to be reached. Teddy Roosevelt was about to leave office. Famous people born that year were Betty Davis, Amy Vanderbilt, Edward R. Murrow, Estee Lauder and Jimmy Stewart.

And then I look at the achievements of humankind in just my lifetime. Television. Global air travel. Space flight. Cd’s, DVD’s, cell phones, satellites of all kinds, the Internet. But back to 1908, how about that fact that the population of the United States today is 302.2 million and in 1908 is was only 90-million.

One hundred is not a very long time. Perhaps we need to think about that as we consume and waste and as we warm and pollute the environment, perhaps to the point of destruction, for our children’s children.

My Father’s children’s children are now in their forties. Seems to me we have a lot of thinking to do and the changing of our modern and wasteful ways.

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