Godswood

2

June 10, 2019, Bellemont-

Those who faithfully watched Game of Thrones will know the title term, as being the spiritual retreat of the family Stark and their vassals.  There are several places on this property that serve as such a place of solace.

I have spent six of the past eight nights here, three of them in the company of middle-school aged youth, who are, as their predecessors were, far more of a blessing than many realize.

Their spontaneity needs monitoring, and correction at times, but does not need the check that some in my generation see as imperative.  We, the Baby Boomers, were after all the generation of free speech. I heard no more than three “f-bombs”, during the course of these three days.  The kids’ focus was primarily on elevated speech; on matters of the mind and spirit.  We, the Baby Boomers, had a thing about “free love”-though it was less widespread than the media often portrayed.  I saw no unwanted attention directed towards anyone.  The kids both see one another as people-first and foremost-and not as objects to help a person break from his/her shell.

There is, in any generation of youth, a cooperative spirit.  This spirit has been ravaged, among many who have aged, by the way we have approached the issues of everyday life.  Some will say that the rising generations will feature more of the same, as that’s how human beings just are.

By and large, I don’t concur.  Humanity is moving, slowly but inexorably, towards a cooperative, united front.  I find youth, basically, to be fairly more mature, at a younger age with each generation.  Their methods of communication may differ, as may their methods of spending time.  I do not, though, see a dark future ahead, on account of the “dissolute gamers”.  Any darkness that comes forth will be solely the result of selfishness and a provincial, “me-centered” mindset.  No generation has a corner on either, and no generation can point fingers at another.

These are things that came to me, during work, play and at meals, during these eight days in “Godswood”.

 

Boomer-Rang

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December 16, 2018, Prescott-

At this morning’s breakfast, a fellow Legionnaire voiced his occasional plaint about “the kids”:  “I’m glad that I’m at the age I am now.  I don’t think I want to see the world, after the younger generation has been in charge.”

Ho-hum!  This man is a member of “The Silent Generation”, those born between 1935-48.  Another member of that generation retorted that this is how it always has been- everyone dumps on the young.  I concur with that last assessment, remembering the reaction of both the aforementioned age group, and the GI Generation who preceded, to the antics of us Baby Boomers.

I admit it- I was too crazy about girls to care about much else, before joining the Army and learning  a goodly amount of discipline.  Even then, lovely  female faces and physiques had my near full attention, when I didn’t have a weapon in my hands, wasn’t in military formation or wasn’t focused on keeping accountable mail in a safe and secure channel of post.  My work history, though, has been a quite fair record of achievement and at least I have maintained the work ethic my parents instilled in all of us.

Penny and I imparted that same work ethic in our son, a Millennial. He has hit his stride in the military and has never ignored his considerable responsibilities, especially in his late teens and twenties.  I have a higher opinion of Millennials than even some later Gen-X’ers, those who were born in between our two generations.  No one actually seems to like the generation that comes right after them.  I had a cynical view of Generation X, until I actually worked with some of its members and  saw that there is, in reality, no full-on generation of slackers.  The world won’t let this happen, and few people like the results of slacking:  Poverty, debt and an authoritarian regime.

From what I’ve seen, I am certain we will, as I’ve said before, be just fine-with all of the generations working together.  Millennials and Generation Z will make it happen, just as we did.

Ever-standing

9

February 23, 2017, Prescott-

Over the past three years, I have been roundly excoriated by the following:

Alt-right extremists

Far-left extremists

Pedophiles

Misogynists

Strict disciplinarians

Free-child advocates

Other Baby-Boomers

Gen-X’ers

Crabby children

Cranky seniors

I must be doing something right.

Whatever, I’m still here.

 

Gen Z Charades

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October 20, 2016, Prescott-

A little boy and his sister greeted me, when I sat down behind their table, this evening, in a local pizza shop.

As time went on, and their father continued to talk with their uncle, the kids and their two cousins engaged in a game of charades.  There was no whining about when they were about to leave, just four children enjoying one another’s company.  The girl was the most inventive of the group, portraying everything from a softball pitcher to Nemo, the cartoon fish.

This is a bit of irony, compared with what I see lying ahead for the generation that will both follow the Millennials and will need to work, hand in glove with their immediate elders, in cleaning up so many of the messes that are being left them.  There will be no pretending for Generation Z, when they come of age.

Ways of solving problems will be found, the likes of which will seem as exotic, to any Baby Boomers who live into our eighties and nineties, as the i-Pad, solar energy and electronic music did, to those of the GI Generation.  Humanity will prevail, for many reasons, not the least of which is the hard-wired internal technology of the two rising generations.

Charades will be seen for what they are:  A parlour game, not a ruse for ignoring pressing issues.

The Road to 65, Mile 15: Validation and Respect

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December 13, 2014, Prescott- I watch my favourite television shows on my laptop, a day after they are aired on TV.   This evening, I  watched a segment of “Blue Bloods”, in which one of the issues was respect between a husband and wife.  Validation of  a woman’s goals and aspirations was a matter of  personal growth for men of my father’s generation.  My mother did that for which she was trained, hairdressing and cosmetology, working out of her kitchen, as part of putting food on the table.  Dad respected that choice, and valued her efforts.

It was a no-brainer for me, that Penny would work at what she loved best, and at what she excelled.  We worked a few times in the same schools, and her efforts often exceeded my own.  I learned to be sensitive, to avoid small acts or statements which could be misconstrued as disrespect for her work, or for her thoughts, goals, dreams.  There is a lot of subliminal sensitivity among Baby Boomers, stemming from our place as a transitional generation, one of whose tasks was to establish a true equality between genders.

Society is not there yet.  Women, by and large, do get validated, in terms of their aspirations- up to a point.  There remains the Glass Ceiling.  There still exists the disparity in salaries, between genders.  Both genders, to a large extent, regard rape as a victim-initiated crime- even, among some on the far right, a contrived crime, either instigated by the woman, or made up by her-for various reasons.

To be sure, there are those who use rape as a cudgel.  Such women, though, are a very small percentage of the total post-pubescent female populace.  Their acts should neither define public policy nor be the determinant of society’s attitude towards the vast majority of victims of sexual assault- female or male.

As an educator, as an uncle and as a friend, I regard the aspirations, the efforts and the boundless intellectual and ergonomic gifts of women and men on an equal level.  As a fellow human, I regard a person’s body, space and well-being as inviolable.  Each of us has had to struggle with emotional and spiritual baggage.  I have disposed of much of my own, especially in the past dozen years.  I have imparted to our son, the imperative of being at eye level with any woman he wishes to bring into his life.

Being in the world, living a complete life, means extending that right to all others.  Slowly, and steadily, the human race will realize that gender equality brooks no leeway.