In a harsh world we can either become tolerant by not shying away from pain and disappointment, or we can shelter ourselves and be unable to cope when those challenges rear their ugly head.
In a political cartoon for the Detroit Free Press entitled “Traveling Across America,” artist Mike Thompson juxtaposed two women: a pioneer from 1857 and a businesswoman from 2007. The pioneer declares, “the trip is grueling and filled with hardship.” The businesswoman replies, “I hear ya! My flight was packed and 20 minutes late!”
In 1905, Art Young was far more critical of his contemporaries when he illustrated a cartoon for Life magazine entitled “World of Creepers.” It depicts a sea of men in sport coats crawling along the ground under a dark cloud. The word “fear” hovers just above the horizon.
These two political cartoons express concern that we are (or were) becoming a culture of complainers, snivelers, and grovelers; mere shadows of our immigrant and frontier ancestors who attempted to prosper despite enduring constant hardships.