I started this post early last week then got caught up in several projects we have going on around here and totally and completely forgot to finish it. Ironic considering the title.
When I am NOT forgetting things, I have been TRYING to keep my brain young. This doesn’t mean taking Ginko supplements (though maybe I should!) or doing Suduko (even my best young brain couldn’t do that). It means I have been trying very hard to not catch myself saying things like, “when I was young we had more sense than that”, or “the world is going to hell in a hand basket” (Just how old IS that saying? Who even knows what a hand basket is anymore).
I remember hating to hear old(er) people rant and rave about the younger generation as if the young uns just invented stupid. Stupid has been around a long time and is not limited to a post baby boomer age group.
So, I have been trying to look at the world through younger eyes and see what is going on out there. I listen to my kids and other young adults I run across to get a perspective that I do not generally glimpse in my everyday life.
In many ways I think the 20 somethings will be smarter in the long run than my generation. They recently watched their parents navigate the Great Recession and are more careful with their money. At least my kids have realized that McMansions are not the great investment the Baby Boomers thought they were. They are also much more aware of the environmental impact we are wreaking on earth. They live in a global world. My generation at best had a national world or regional world. Our perspective on life in another country may have come from a pen pal you wrote once a month or saw a little of on the nightly news. I now keep up with numerous people daily all over our amazing dot via Instagram. How freaking cool is that!
I listen to friends complain about how bad, lazy, uninformed, etc. young people are. First, I remember how utterly boring the news was until I reached the age of tax paying! Second, I have the amazing pleasure of spending one week each year with high school and college age young adults. In that week they repair around seven homes for people who do not have the financial and/or physical ability to make their homes safe, warm and dry. This is done in 90 degree heat and usually involves mud and bugs as well. And unlike many adults they do not complain! Five straight days of sleeping in a gym, enduring subpar showers, generally not eating as much as they like and NO COMPUTERS. All this is handled with good humor and patience.
From my perspective, if these amazing young people don’t catch the “we have alway done it this way” disease from us, we have hope for the future. They despise our political system and well they should. Our Constitution has been whittled away at by both parties. Hopefully these bright and compassionate up and comers will clean up the mess. I don’t believe they are as influenced by money and power. They have seen what it does to society.
Not only do I want to stay young at heart as the years continue to pile up, but I want to stay young at brain. I don’t want to shut down fresh ideas or not listen to and consider the views of our younger generations. They have such a different world than the one I came into. I think it is going to fall on their shoulders to save the human race if the current powers that be don’t destroy it first.
Photo by Tyson Dudley