I am currently around 200 pages into Rick Atkinson’s excellent book An Army at Dawn about the US and British Armies in the Second World War. It’s quite an insightful look into a nation learning to grow warriors, men trying to become combat leaders, and generals learning – sometimes at the cost of much blood – how to wage war on another nation.
The book has helped me with some perspective on recent events in my own life. As stressed and concerned as we get about things from time to time – personal events, family events, company events – I still get to go home at the end of the day, I still have a job, I’m still alive… these men could be dead at the end of their day – every day.. and they would have to live with that for more than three years from 1942 through the end of the war in 1945.
When I think about things in that context, what I have to deal with every day doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.