DAILY PROMPT: GENERATION XYZ
Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?
I was born during WWII, which seems to mean I don’t exist on the generation chart. To which I say yah boo sucks, not only because I am still very much alive and kicking, but also because yah boo sucks was cult-speak when I was at the age when such things mattered, and I might as well be loyal.
The generations after mine all seem to have plucked from the ether a sense of entitlement that sends my ethics into a frenzy of rage and frustration. But at the same time, learning to embrace it would probably be one of my better gifts to myself. What bliss it would be to believe without reservation that the world not only owes me a living, but that I have an absolute and unassailable right to anything I might fancy and to hell with everyone else, the consequences and the general good! Unfortunately, the conditioning of my youth remains adamant: not going to happen.
Rights, in my opinion – which doesn’t count, of course, because old people talk through their necks, but that doesn’t stop me stating it… Rights have got way out of hand. I’m not talking about basic human rights, women’s rights, racial equality – all the things I’ll fight for to my dying breath. But when people consider it their right to behave like idiots, often drunken idiots, and then be compensated by Them for the consequences of their stupidity – now that is just ridiculous. Why should I, the ratepayer, contribute to the millions claimed from the local council, for their [sic] negligence in not erecting a sign on the beach warning highly intoxicated young men that if they dive into the surf at 2am, they may risk paralysis from hitting their heads on a sand bar? I kid you not. Don’t start me.
As far as I’m concerned, personal responsibility is alive and well, and fortunately for me, lives on in my children: otherwise, we might have had to have Words. They’re also teaching their children the same thing, which may not do them any favours in today’s society, but if we don’t keep the concept alive, what hope do we have? The news is already full to bursting with people running around like two-year-olds who’ve never learnt that instant gratification for them usually means acute discomfort/ inconvenience/financial disaster or even death for someone else, and that THIS MATTERS.
So on the whole, and at the risk of outing myself as a dinosaur which doesn’t bother me anyway, I think I’ll skip the sense of entitlement. Attractive though it is, in a grotesque sort of way, I couldn’t align it with my (dinosaur) conscience.
And aren’t I entitled to be a dinosaur if I damn well want to?