Are our kids growing up in a safer world than we did?

man in uniform with burns maskThe recent graphic images of dying refugees, coupled with threats of a bombing campaign in Syria made me stop and think about what my daughters think of the world around them. 

Do these events frighten them? Are they scared for their own lives? How different is the world in 2015, compared with my upbringing in the 70s and 80s?


The image above is taken from a TV movie shown on the BBC in 1984 called Threads

At the time, as a school kid, this was a huge deal. 

The film showed what would happen in the event of a nuclear attack on Sheffield and the fallout thereafter.&nbsp

As you may guess, it wasn’t pretty and Threads pulled no punches. 


But this wasn’t an isolated case of Doomsday. Even though the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963 was long past, the general feeling was one of nervousness when it came to a possible nuclear war. 

Barely a day went past without someone bringing up the conversation of ‘what will you do if they sound the four-minute warning?’

To make matters more real, we could hear them testing that very siren every Friday morning at 10am – it was like a fire alarm test with greater jeopardy. 

Added to that, I had a History teacher who was obsessed with talking about what you really should do in the event of a strike; closing curtains, not wearing a striped shirt and filling the bath with water all featured if memory serves me correctly. 

I grew up in a pre-perestroika world, where the ‘Commies’ still existed, precious few people knew what life was like ‘behind the Iron Curtain’, and overseas news reports on the TV were generally a man talking down a phone line with a still image of him on screen overlaid with a rudimentary map. 

Worry free?

Although we know the threat from ISIL is real and 9/11 still occupies thoughts, today’s current climate seems remarkably worry-free by comparison. 

Maybe the world is less ‘on the brink’, or the greater transparency that digital technology offers means forewarned is forearmed. 

Whichever it is, I feel safer now than I did inthe 1980s, and hopefully I can convey that to my children. 

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