My Life in a Changing World with Miriam Mares (2008)

Miriam Mare’s stories about growing up on an Iowa farm from 1914 to 1936.


Perhaps more changes took place in my lifetime than at any time in previous history. The transportation revolution took us from the horse and buggy through railroads to airplanes. Better medical care, increasing longevity, and an influx of immigrants have all increased our population, which in turn have affected our lives. A sexual revolution took place, too, in the 1960s. When I was growing up, sex was never openly discussed. A child born out of wedlock was looked down upon. In today’s world, couples live together freely without marriage. Birth control and abortion have become political issues. The computer revolution, though, has changed the way people live more than most anything.

       When I graduated from high school in 1931, the U.S. population was approximately 130 million. Today our population approaches 400 million. This increase leaves less space for each person and has risen above what we can sustain. As a result, we now are involved in a war with Iraq, mainly for the purpose of controlling their oil supply. We need to concentrate on saving the planet, because the earth can sustain only so many people, and it is now overpopulated. We have to control and cut back on population, or we will all die from lack of oxygen and clean water. We have to face this reality soon.

      The United States has already demonstrated the mass destruction of two cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, in World War II with the atomic bomb. We have numerous such bombs and want to prevent other countries from having them. We need to organize all countries to discontinue the use of atomic bombs.

          As I reflect on my life experiences, I feel I have broadened my outlook of the world. As one begins to be a citizen of the world, one sees that war is no longer acceptable as a means