Sherman R. Frederick

Battle Born Media

In 1948 C.S. Lewis penned an essay titled “On Living in an Atomic Age.” Today, in this unsettled time of fear about the coronavirus pandemic, it remains wise advice which I recommend to you today.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

IENVIRONMENTALISTS AND DEVELOPERS

Ran across this saying recently. Thought it had some truth in it. Goes like this: “A man with a home on the wilderness is an environmentalist; and a man who wants to build a home in the wilderness is a developer.”

ONE MORE THING …

The good part of Daylight Savings Time is my car clock is finally right again.

Oh, by the way, if you’re looking for a purebred dog, I found one on the internet. I call him “Wonder Dog.”

See you next week. Avoid soreheads and remember that we’re always better together. We’re going to be OK even in the age of coronavirus.

Thanks for reading the best and most interesting local newspaper in the Bay Area.

(You can reach Publisher Sherman R. Frederick at shermfrederick@gmail.com.)