He called me an “old-timer?” How did that happen? I mean, I was a rock-and-roll chick who partied until sunrise. I was cool!
Here is the story.
I was researching the origins and content of a particular book, when I came across the blog of a twenty-seven-year-old man (posted in ’09, so he is now 33). He is the one who called me an old-timer. Okay, he didn’t say it to me personally, but to my entire generation.
The book I was researching is titled, The Fourth Turning. It’s two historians look at the patterns of history and how they repeat themselves. According to historical events, time has not been linear, therefore, humanity is not progressing.
However, the book is not the point of this post. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to discuss the book’s content, but this post is about generations.
The young man that I came across said, “old-timers are always pining for the good old days when people had values.”
He’s right! I do that all the time.
He said, “a Leave it to Beaver type of lifestyle does not appeal to me in the least.”
Well, me neither, but I don’t think he understands that is not what us old-timers mean about “the good old days.” We know, Leave it to Beaver was not the reality of how people truly behaved.
But, I do miss the days when we could be proud of the culture in which we were raised … in my case, American culture (and some Italian).
Shouldn’t any culture, no matter which country, be proud of their heritage? Pride is supposedly a bad word these days, but it doesn’t necessarily mean conceit. Why can’t a people feel good about the successful traditions of their culture?
I miss the days of baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and singing the National Anthem with heart.
I miss the days of, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” It may sound cold and insensitive today, but we were told that as kids, and it gave us thick skins. Someone from our generation rarely throws a tantrum over being called some politically incorrect name.
Most of all, I miss common sense and integrity. By integrity, I mean that people were able to show their true colors, whether they be noble or despicable. That way, we could better tell apart the good-guy from the bad-guy. Today, political correctness blurs the lines, and we can never really tell who we’re dealing with.
Why is this way of life wrong for the younger generation?
According to The Fourth Turning, each generation sees life from a different perspective, and the book explains each of those points of view (baby boomers, millenials, greatest generation, etc.). Whichever generation is in the leadership role at the time is the one that shapes the world.
I have not yet gotten through the entire book, but it appears to me that all generational perspectives have been warped by negative emotions instead of logic and optimism. Technology puts us in constant communication, where a lot of our entertainment shows the negative side of life. I don’t know the answer, but it couldn’t hurt to work toward more positive outcomes without anger and resentment.
The Fourth Turning could be a great learning tool for humanity. If we keep our minds open to learning about the different perspectives, perhaps we could use all generational experiences to break that repeating cycle and work toward logical, positive outcomes. If we could only find the light in the darkness, and pave the way to a future so bright, we’ll have to wear shades.
Oops, there I go, showing my generation by quoting an old-time song. I guess I have to accept it … I’m an old-timer. And, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m not offended in the least.