Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Message to Young People on Confronting Unexpected Hardships

During the course of my long life, I have had to cope with three completely unexpected tragedies- the Vietnam War, the burning of the Bronx, and the crack epidemic. In each of these instances, immense suffering ensued that required years, if not decades to recover from, while millions of people suffered injuries from which no recovery was possible
I put the Trump Presidency in the same category. Two years ago, no one could have predicted that someone with his character traits or background could have ascended to the Presidency. But he is here and here to stay and the damage to our social fabric he is inflicting is deep and lasting.
If is a very difficult thing to realize that the kind of tragedy that you have only read about in history books has entered your life and experience. You may have to do things you never dreamed of doing. But those who aren't crushed by the experience do ultimately adapt, and try to either live around the destruction or minimize the damage.
For better or worse, you are going to have to play the hand you're dealt. And try to survive with some semblance of self respect, along with compassion for those going through this with you.
I have done this three times. And am busy working on a fourth.
You can do it once.

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