Warning: Sleep deprived rambling rant below, proceed at your own risk!
My friend pinche, in his essay below this one, threatens Generational War. Okay he doesn’t threaten, he observes, or projects, or is thinking wishfully. But we have all seen the Boomer Bashing on the Blogs, and it can be upsetting … to Boomers! It naturally brings out the old reptilian brains fight or flight reflex when stumbled upon. Self-identification is part of being human and having any of your self-identifications threatened brings at least an initial emotional response.
As a part of the tail end of the last generational war, I have been waiting for the next one for years. because at the end of the day…it is a natural cycle, and a very necessary one. It is one of the best things about Obama’s candidacy, imo.
The balance between youthful passion and rebelliousness and the wisdom of The Elders is an eternal theme. Without each, where would we be? And, fellow venerable sages….guess who it is incumbent upon to make the balance work?
Harken back to the days of thine youth and remember what it is to be young, to see the problems of the world, to feel helpless and powerless to change them….and so…. to look for someone to blame! Who is to blame? Why, the same entity that every generation blames…the establishment, who unsurprisingly enough is made up of previous generations.
Think back to the glorious discovery phase of your life when your still developing intellect became aware of all the problems of the world and of human nature, before the complexities and limitations of change became fully apparent, before the (absolutely necessary!) process of compromise with the world began.
The Glory Days!
The energy of youth is driven by the Life Force. It is the energy of Life renewing itself, the species renewing itself….and of evolution! Life trying to create a better environment for itself to thrive in, to adapt the environment to itself. It IS change. Revolution specifically incarnate.
On the other side of the Yin Yang is the wisdom of the Elders. Those who have lived through…and survived…that phase of the cycle of life, who survived the mistakes of youth. From our perspective we see the ‘kids’ of today and instead of recognizing in them the aspects of ourselves that we valued, we all too often see their callowness and naivete and, most annoyingly, their obstreperous impudence and …disrespect.
Frankly, I am…or could be said to be…just as pissed at the Youth Of Today as they are at me, at the Boomers. Where the fuck have they been? The rallying of youth around Obama gives us a clue….they have been waiting for a leader. Something we were fortunate to have a plethora of….until they were all shot. Which MAY just have had a bit of an effect on any up and coming leaders eagerness to be out front, lol. They have also been provided with an amazing panoply (when I am sleep deprived my vocabulary expands!) of diversions and distractions and shiny playthings hitherto unseen. Iow…the majority of them have fallen into the same trap as the Boomers they decry, the trap of the material over the idealistic!
But here is the secret of the balance, that I alluded to earlier….(don’t TELL them this, btw!) it is up to the Elders to harness and direct the energy of youth. It is up to us to strike the balance of respect for their new ideas and their passion with the tempering of our wisdom and experience. To ignore their taunts and japes at us and to embrace their change causing exuberance. The more we resist, the more they are forced to rebel. The more we embrace and find ways to work with them, the more powerful we ALL become. It is WE who make it into a war, instead of finding the balance between youth and experience. Our parents rejected our ideas and ideals and caused a generational war. It is up to us to use our (alleged) wisdom to avoid the new incarnation of that war. Because…if you can remember back that far you old farts…we were, and are Anti-War, bless our dentures and Depends!
Conclusion of rant:
Reach out to the youth of today as YOU would have wanted to be reached out to. Do not dismiss them, listen to them…….and help them to find ways to direct all those raging hormones and all of that passion into useful channels….then and only then will they listen to us…and hear our hard won wisdom….and just maybe….avoid making the same mistakes we did!