Whiting column: Regarding the generational divide, life experience has value
Our political divisions are not only subject to the rural/urban divide but exacerbated by an evolving generational divide.
Recent articles in “Atlantic,” “The Print,” other publications and various tweets have stated baby boomers have nothing to offer the current generations or the country.
Our shortcomings are numerous. Those with high college debt blame us even though we weren’t the ones deciding on an overly expensive school, taking extra years to graduate or playing instead of working during school and vacations.
Housing shortage is our fault because our generation established unreasonable zoning laws requiring adequate parking, green space and construction requirements. We are blamed for a poor job market despite employers’ inability to find people willing to work with increased compensation. We developed an economy that is too complex and doesn’t provide free education, free medical care and housing priced at three times one’s annual income.
We are blamed for excess administrative regulations creating an ever-enlarging bureaucracy despite their being advocated by the left. Increased credit card debt was our fault because the economy provided the products and services consumers demanded.
They claim it’s been too long since we were in school and what we learned then is irrelevant now. Several twitter accounts labeled COVID-19 as a positive because it serves as a “boomer remover.” Generation X, Z and millennials feel we have different interests and look at things differently. They are correct. We have learned from our years of existence.
We’re smarter because we bought Levi’s without holes already in them. We learned to shade our eyes by putting the bill of our cap forward. We learned that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.
Our abilities were different. We could remember the name of our girlfriend without the aid of a tattoo. One article stated food had taken the place of sex in our life: not true. Most of us put a mirror over the kitchen table.
We learned people don’t value what they get for free. It doesn’t make sense to need an ID to get on a plane but not to vote. There are doer and watcher careers. Doers take the chances, make things happen; watchers observe, judge and critique.
We realized some phrases don’t make sense: reputable drug dealer, militant religious group, political intelligence committee. We determined the best support animal is a chicken: four pieces with a biscuit and gravy.
Our lives were tough. We had to walk 20 feet, both ways, through shag carpet to change the TV channel. We were socially conscious and tried to save the school money by having drivers-ed and sex-ed in the same car. We had social media: We passed notes in class.
We realize things have changed since we graduated. Clothes are all back in style. We no longer need to smell them to see if we can wear them another day before washing. It would be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for 10 minutes and come out wrinkle free and three sizes smaller. “One for the road” means going to the bathroom before we leave the house. It’s OK to talk to yourself; there are times you need expert advice.
Life helped us realize there is ignorance in the world. Our people skills are fine; it’s our tolerance for idiots that needs work. Duct tape or baling twine can’t fix stupid, but it does muffle the sound. A word to the wise isn’t necessary — it’s the stupid that need the advice. The problem with political jokes is they sometimes get elected. The quality of their work tells athletes when it’s time to retire; politicians don’t listen.
We acknowledge not always making good decisions. A man had been on a deserted island for 10 years. One day a 6-foot blonde woman in a wetsuit walked out of the ocean. She saw the man and asked how long it had been since he had had a cigarette. “Ten years.” She unzipped a pocket on her left sleeve and gave him one. She asked how long it had been since he had a drink. “Ten years.” She unzipped a pocket on her right sleeve and gave him a pint of bourbon. She began slowly unzipping the front of her wetsuit and asked how long it had been since he had played around. “Do you have a set of golf clubs in there?”
We discerned it’s humanistic to be empathetic toward some people’s situation. For example:
- Those whose houses are broken into and the robber leaves because there’s nothing worth stealing.
- Those against protest posters. How do they let people know? How do people wanting to rebel against the establishment plan to do it?
- People whose favorite adjective is “f….” because they are demonstrating their limited vocabulary.
We discovered if you were honest and willing to work any job, you would never be unemployed. If you’re not your own worst critic, you might as well be wearing someone else’s shorts. Your life is not your own.
The best earning strategy: Get off your butt to make a buck.
It is our personal responsibility to minimize the generational divide by their taking advantage of our life experiences.
Bryan Whiting feels most of our issues are best solved by personal responsibility and an understanding of nonpartisan economics rather than government intervention. Comments and column suggestions to: email@example.com.
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