life, thoughts

What Did He Call Me?

hot-dog-road wmHe 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).

chiskyflag (800x445) wm

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.

hot-dog (800x405) wm

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 futurepieglasses wm 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.

Do you ever find yourself “pining for the good old days?” Do you think humanity is progressing or regressing? Which generation are you from?

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35 thoughts on “What Did He Call Me?”

  1. Good morning, Ms. Lori, how are you today? I thought about this blog a lot last night. For some strange reason, I do not think a lot about the past. (Unless I’m forgetting that I think about the past, lol!) It’s as if the next minute happens and the past is almost immediately forgotten. Or attention remains in the present moment? This morning Barry mentioned a restaurant we visited in NYC last January and it was such a shock and delight to remember it. Because, literally, thoughts about what-already-happened don’t seem to arise. But when they do it’s quite amazing. Just wanted to share that.

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    1. Hi Kathy. It’s great that you are able to remain in the moment. The book is more referencing that humanity as a whole, is not growing. Not necessarily because they’re stuck in the past, but because they haven’t learned from the past. Many have not grown spiritually to the point of living in the present.

      As for me, moving back to where I grew up has sent me into persistent flashback mode. It’s like I’ve entered a time machine. Places and environments I’d completely forgotten about are now surrounding me again. It’s like I’m back in the past, while at the same time, I get to discover it all again with new eyes.

      Thank you for sharing about your present-day living.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, humanity does certainly seem to be stuck in some ego-warp! Heck, I seem to be stuck in an ego-warp at times. Am imagining how you must be experiencing that time machine. Very intriguing indeed.

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  2. I watched Toy Story last night with my kids. It was on the air because the story turned 20 years old this year. 20. Like, seriously, I had to shake off my shock.

    While I’m not in the generation you are really talking about (born in 78), I have noticed that even at 37 I notice how different I am from people in their 20’s. Having not grown up in the 80’s and 90’s, their world is computerized, whereas I grew up without a computer in the house, without a smart phone in my hand, and without social media. Kids and young adults these days seem to be falling apart at the seams. The “I have a right not to be offended” mentality is ruining everything.

    Sometimes, when I look at my girls, I almost feel sad. This world is not the one I grew up in, and I have to say, that most days, I think it to be a worse place. Still there is good in it, though, so I try like mad to cling to that and bring it in this household in every which way I can.

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    1. I will have to check where the cut-off date of the generational differences land. I know what you mean about the “I have a right not to be offended,” mentality. Technology also gives the younger generation instant satisfaction. They want things now, because everything is at our fingertips.

      The man’s blog that I referenced said that he believed humanity was progressing (or improving) because of technology. But the book, The Fourth Turning, made him question his own perspective. I think that book could actually help humanity break it’s destructive cycle. If only humanity would pay attention.

      I believe there are still good in people. We’re just being taught not to trust each other with the division the media (and certain political figures) is putting on our world.

      Thank you for sharing your generational experience, Angela.

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  3. Lori, this post is right up my intellectual alley. When I was a college professor, I taught sociology. I was (and am) quite aware of generational issues and they fascinate me. I could go on and on…but I won’t.

    I was born in 1957, so I’m smack in the middle of the Baby Boom. Generations are influenced by the social, political, economic and environmental issues that happen at various times in their collective developmental lifespans. Not all people in a generation will experience the same things or feel the same way about them. But, generally, if you are a teenager when Watergate was happening, you learned to distrust the government and alienated older generations who were taught to respect people in authority. If you were a teenager when cell phones were all the rage, you learned that technology quickly and had a general disdain for people who weren’t up to speed.

    Do I long for “the good old days?” In some ways, yes. I wish the media wasn’t so “in my face” and 24-7. I think that the media is now more for entertainment than information. We live in a visual media-deluged society and I think we suffer for it. Yet, in those “old days,” racism, sexism, and every other form of inequality were rampant. I don’t miss that at all. We’ve done a great deal to improve the overall quality of human life throughout the world. That’s good.

    I applaud you for reading this book about different generations. The only way we can learn to get along with ech other is to understand each other. Difference seem to matter less when we can understand why we are different. It’s not because we are better than or worse than those who are younger or older, it’s just that we were influenced by different sets of circumstances during our formative years. Embracing those differences and learning from them is the key to building strong ties between generations. And we are going to need all the collective strength we can muster to face the challenges that await all of us.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your knowledge from your sociology background, Lorna. I took that course in college and it totally blew over my head. I think I needed you as my professor. I consider myself, self-taught, because I had a hard time learning from teachers back in the day.

      According to the book, humanity is repeating history in four cycles. They show the historical factual evidence, and right now we are entering a critical phase. I don’t think that the generations are open-minded to learning about each others perspectives and experiences, which is why patterns keep repeating. You’re right, we are going to need the collective strength of all generations. I hope we can break that cycle.

      Great to get your input.

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  4. My younger sisters used to call me ‘old timer’ too, based on my views on boys. Twenty years later, they were thanking me for giving them the right advise. Great post and do have a great weekend my friend!

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    1. I hope they took that advice of their wise sister. Thank you for sharing your experience in being called an ‘old-timer’, Miss Seyi. Glad your sisters “get it” now. Blessings to you.

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  5. Lori, this is one of the best posts I’ve ever read, and some of the comments too. Thank you for bolstering my faith that there are people out there with whom I have something in common. I’m just on the tail end of the baby boomers, a ’65 girl. I was only a little kid but I think as a society we need to hark back to the 60’s and early seventies when we questioned the establishment and looked for other ways. Also to other earlier decades… take good things from each such as the Depression which taught frugality and resourcefulness.
    Sometimes I miss the simplicity of my childhood, and I think kids today don’t have it as good as I did. We had so much more freedom to be ourselves.

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    1. Hi EllaDee. Yes, questioning the establishment is good. Then, we need to have something new to put in the place of what the establishment is doing that isn’t working. According to historical data, humanity keeps playing out the same four cycles. Which means, humanity hasn’t tried anything new to make things work. I don’t even know if there IS anything new. But, I wonder if it has to do with each generation being unwilling to use the experience of the other generations and not repeat the same mistakes.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. If you, or anyone else that reads this think its Freshly Pressed worthy, maybe you can nominate me? I think the link can be tweeted @freshly_pressed.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comments.

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  6. It’s funny that you should post this. My son and I were just talking about this yesterday. He is of the opinion that we are going backwards, all civility and kindness has gone out the window, no one seems to care about being polite or kind to one another. Which is kind of interesting in this time of “political correctness”, we act more like Neanderthals than we ever did before. Our skills of communication are disintegrating, there is a lack of culture and everyone is just out for themselves. I blame a great deal of it on what we see on reality TV.
    Great post!!!!!
    PS: Hope all is well – how are you surviving your first Winter?

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    1. I agree with your son. The book I reference talks about how humanity just keeps replaying history in four stages. It reminds me of a nightmare version of the movie Groundhog Day. I wish I knew the answer to stop the cycle.

      Winter is pretty mild here. We did get hit with a lot of snow right before Thanksgiving, but it melted soon after. In case you missed the post, our Dog, Max LOVED it. Being a Florida dog, I was worried he’d hate the snow & cold, but he seems to like it better than the heat. His thick coat is perfect for the cold.
      https://loreezlane.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/humor-me/

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  7. Good post! I get this. Younger generations tend to focus on the worst of America, instead of the good things this country has done. We’re all here because of the actions our ancestors made, good and bad, and we need to make the most of it. The Internet and social media has made everyone a critic and expert on everything, with no filter. It’s sad to see people hoping the latest active shooter will be of one ethnicity or another to support their agenda. Sigh.

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    1. Great point about everyone being a critic with the internet. On one hand, it’s good to have a place for people to voice their free speech. On the other, it can generate just plain nasty people who can hide behind their computers.

      Another good point about the ethnic groups of shooters. My heart breaks for the dead and wounded victims. That is where we should place our attention and compassion, not on agendas.

      Thank you for your sharing your insight, Joy.

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  8. We rarely see pop culture, the lives we are living at the time, or family life in any real terms…When your twenty something friend looks back he to will see current thought and comment to be little more than caricature that rarely scratches through the veneer to touch anything real.

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    1. We each see through the eyes of our generation, and sometimes, we do tend to filter some things out, especially when we get nostalgic. Thank you for stopping over and sharing your perspective, Charlie.

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  9. I deal with thoughts like this by reminding myself that every generation has said these same things. If we go back and read passages from decades ago–even centuries ago–the older generation bemoans the younger. That brings me comfort.

    As for sticks and stones, I still don’t like that saying. I think words do far more damage than broken bones. Broken bones heal. Words often do not. Of course, we have landed in the age of extreme political correctness, and I’m not referring to that. But all too often words leave damaging effects.

    Nice, thoughtful post, Lori.

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    1. Hi Carrie. Yes, and according to The Fourth Turning, each generation does look back and wish it was the way they were brought up. Each of our generations is brought up with quite a different outlook on life. That book is fascinating, but scary all at once.

      I know what you mean about “sticks and stones,” because I have been hurt by words before. According to the book, I grew up in the “I” generation, and it was right on. Meaning, my generation was taught to be independent and strongly believes in individuality. So, over time, I’ve learned that even though some words may hurt, I don’t have to hang on to them for the rest of my life. I can feel it, face it and then move on. It’s more about how I handle it than how the “name-caller” perceives me. However, remind me of that when I get some rough reviews or critiques on my writing. Heh. 😉

      This book can get me talking about its content for way too long.

      Always good to see you, and I appreciate your input.

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        1. Oh, and I meant to mention that you’re right how political correctness has gotten extreme. It manipulated our naturally occurring emotions to hurtful words and has run amok now. Sigh. Another reason why I “pine for the good old days.” 😛

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  10. Wonderful post, Lori. I guess I’m part of the Generation X group, born in the 70’s. And I am very proud of my country and its traditions. I don’t ever buy into political correctness – I buy into respect, and having a curious, open mind. I think that comes with age and wisdom, though, when your “agendas” are already in place. I try to teach my kids to be constant fact gatherers before they subscribe to anything, so they have peace in their beliefs. I think those who never do that searching end up just short-changing themselves, following what’s popular at the time, when common sense values actually are timeless.

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    1. Common sense values, yes, I miss those. Good to hear you teach your kids to gather facts. It seems that those (facts) don’t matter as much anymore either. I’m right on the cusp of baby boomer and Gen X, but I was too young to remember much of the 60’s. Thank you for sharing, Kelly. Good to see you.

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  11. I, too, am one who is considered to be an “old-timer” and I, too, long for the days of integrity! Before we became such germaphobes that hotdogs have become feared! I remember being able to actually play outside until the streetlights came on without fear of being shot or kidnapped. I remember my parents not hesitating to discipline me with a belt to the butt (no “time outs”, no taking away privileges, and no calling Child Protective Services) when I disobeyed or talked back. My favorite song about such memories is “Glory Days” by Bruce Springfield.

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    1. The newer generations think that not having values makes them free from rules, but they are actually way more restricted than we ever were … which goes to your point of being able to stay outside on our own and such. Thanks for sharing my fellow “old-timer.”

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