Off the Line: The ‘wasted generation’ can now take a bow

This column came out of something I read earlier this morning, as you will soon read.

There are times when I sit staring at the computer screen with a blank Microsoft Word document looking back at me. It doesn’t care if I have a deadline to write this column.

Those are the times when I read everything I can, both print and electronic, silently begging for a topic to suddenly appear. When that literary miracle does happen to occur I breathe a huge sigh of relief and get on with it.

This column came out of something I read earlier this morning, as you will soon read.

It seems the age-old adage about “the more things change, the more they stay the same” has some merit when it comes to the generation gap.

Back in the day, when I was a teen (yes, that was a lifetime ago) it seems that everything my generation did was wrong. And, of course, just because of the few bad apples, we all got painted with the same broad brush.

My generation, known as Baby Boomers grew from what was called the beat generation.

That generation became known as beatniks, or hipsters.

Whatever the name of the generation, whether it be Generation X, Millennials, or Generation Z (currently the youngest of the generations) it didn’t matter when it came to the age-old struggle between generations.

Just today I witnessed that struggle on Facebook. It seems as if issue was taken with the recent grad party. The gist of the post tarred and feathered all of them when, in fact, there was only a handful who didn’t respect boundaries and propriety.

While I recognize the concerns were valid, I felt badly for the 2015 grads who partied responsibly.

According to one grad the class had put much thought into that party; and I just don’t mean what they were going to wear or who was going to be there.

That grad said certain cautions and notices to those it might concern had been given. Her posts were well thought out and carefully constructed to reflect the maturity she obviously has.

Well done, young lady. To protect your privacy, I didn’t publish your name, although I wish I could because you and your parents deserve recognition; them for raising a fine young woman and you for your level head and manners.

As I read through the posts it occurred to me that this generational struggle is not that different from other generation struggles. During my generation many of our parents thought we were going to become dirty hippies. You know; turn on, tune in and drop out. In fact, most of our parents were certain my generation was a wasted generation. They didn’t like our slang, they didn’t like The Beatles, and I hesitate to say many were intolerant. There wasn’t much they liked about our generation.

They were afraid my generation would leave a black mark in history, what with the advent of birth control and drugs and that we were going to ruin the world. While some did get pregnant and others dropped out permanently, there was and is a core of us who are caring, contributing human beings.

Guess what? The world is still here and for the most part those boomers still alive have contributed greatly to the world and turned out to be exemplary human beings.

Famous Baby Boomers who have contributed to this world include actor Dan Aykroyd, entrepreneur Steve Jobs and Prime Minister, Steve Harper. Oh wait, strike that last name.

Boomers can also take a bow for inventing DNA fingerprinting, synthetic skin, and the worldwide web.

Then again, we had Boomers such as serial murderers Paul Bernardo and his wife Karla Homolka.

Every generation struggles for their identity. Which of any of us didn’t have someone in our life who was afraid of and for our generation?

I do find it perplexing how some of those of my generation forgot what it was like when they were a teen.

They forget too, that it will be the following generations who will care for us in the end.

To all those grads of 2015 I offer since congratulations and best wishes for your future. Most of us know that you all will turn out fine in the end.

Oh, and if it’s you who ends up caring for me in my old age, take it easy on me, okay?

Peace out.

 

 

 

Karen Haviland writes here every other week.

 

 

 

 

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