Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Problem With Aging

Getting old is a major pain in the ass.  Some things work, while others do not.  And I am not referring to a person's mental or physical abilities.  Today, we are living not just longer, but healthier.  We can recreate longer but also have the time to reminiscence more deeply.  Things just seemed to work better when we were "kids."  

At one time, and for a long time, a nickel bought you a Snickers Bar and a local telephone call from a telephone booth.  Our kids today can relate to the Snickers and gladly tell you that they cost at least a buck and a quarter.  As for the phone booth, not a clue except that Clark Kent changes into Superman in one so it must be real.  And then we have music.

Boomers fondly remember Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis, the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash and so many more that brought harmony to radio.  When mentioning these iconic artists, the kids may wonder what planet you just teleported from, but are quick to ask you if you heard the latest from the musical group, "Vomit."  Well, no; we equate vomit as something we do when we are ill. Looking deeper, we see that Vomit's youth appeal may really stem from their constant use of our cities' jails as their personal youth hostel.  Is this a disconnect?  Probably not, at least when it comes to music.  Boomer parents complained about rock and roll much the same way that we look at "Vomit."  But there is something else that has nothing to do with music.

We live in a socially upside down society (the problem is really not aging.  Getting older is part of life.  The problem is by living longer, we remember when the "apple cart" was not upset and disrespect of anything earned the offender some kind of punishment. Now it seems that the offender is some kind of social hero). As we age we have lost touch with our ethnic culture and heritage.  In our fast paced world of progress, getting ahead, staying ahead, and putting food on the table we have lost our personal and group identity.  To keep up we bent a knee for many things.  Now most of our kids are fully prostrated.  Unfortunately, that's how they think they should be.  For many of our kids, political correctness has become a way of life; it does not have to be this way.

First, we need to ground ourselves in our culture and heritage.  We must seek out our ancestors to help us answer questions about our family line.  And we must delve deeply into history to gain an understanding of why things happened the way that they did.  All of us have a culture and heritage and the right to peacefully celebrate them; never feel ashamed of who you are and where you came from.

It may seem that this process of getting back to your roots is self-centered and selfish; it is not.  It is about knowing your family line, your ancestors, and your heritage - a very large group of which you are a part.  Then you can teach your kids and grand-kids.  These things are a source of great pride. Who knows, you could do so well that in the future, kids will refer to vomit for what it really is - a gut wrenching experience that tastes really bad.

                                                       Copyright @2015 Terry Unger



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