I ask that question a lot. Of myself, of others.
I am 65. Brought up in a world a lot different than the one I sit in today. Not better, but the time I was in. Many of my years were spent in a community, just minutes from a large city. What had begun as farmland and dairies, was fast becoming the suburbia of Erma Bombeck’s writings.
We had neighbors, many of who were first-generation families from immigrants coming in from countries like Germany, Poland, Italy, and Ireland. There were the families of generations of farmers and the businesses that resulted from the culture.
And… there were parents and children, as well as grandchildren all living in the same neighborhood. Predominantly a blue-collar area, people knew one another and worked together. They were connected. Whether it was shoveling driveways, dropping cookies off at Christmas, or joining in on a BBQ or a pickup baseball game.
People of all ages lived on our street and in our neighborhood.
Mr. A, a retiree, hired me to help him with his gardens and small animals. He taught me how to garden, farming, and a lot about hard work than I care to remember. ? Mr. H, an elderly man, had lots of sheds filled with treasures of all kinds. He taught me to work on his pair of 1955 Chevys and small motors. He was always showing me old radios and how to work on them. He had a couple of woodworking shops and lots of old tools. Gil and Bob were a couple of 20-year-old guys who worked on 1950-1960 English cars, played music, and might, just might have shared some party thoughts.
Many of the dads and moms would oversee our sports get-togethers, scout gatherings and made sure we were safe. (You know. Yelling at us as we sledded down across a busy street by using lookouts to say “yay or nay”.)
Here I am at 65, with children and grandchildren. And one of the greatest legacies, I desire to see passed on is an understanding, not only of love and kindness but that of the value of each generation. I, like most of us, have heard the boomer versus snowflake arguments and denigration. The constant “my generation” statements get us nowhere!
I loved a lot of my childhood. I loved the “slower” pace of so many things, and the family and neighborly gatherings. But I would not want to go back to wall phones and black and white TVs for all the money in the world. I loved Dr. Harrison showing up for a house call, but I am sure she would agree that the medicines and understandings of health today are far greater today than in the 1960s. I don’t think life needs to be as “hard” as it was when I was a child.
I like old cars. (I could still wrench a ‘65 Mustang and never blink twice. And you will always see me at car shows!) But I like the continued dependability of newer ones. (And… I don’t open the hood!) I like not having to go to the theater for every movie I am interested in. I like sharing the things of my youth with my kids and grandchildren. Camping, vacations to the lakes and the mountains, small farms and orchards, small stores and neighborly relations, and whatever else, I can dream up.
Over the last few months, I felt the struggles of the generations. The inability for many to connect. COVID made a difference, but the seeds of discord were there long before the elections, the pandemic, and world concerns.
I tend to think my generation has held on to things when we might have listened a little more. (I mean most of us are using Facebook, Google, and a host of other technology created by younger ones. )
Recently, I began doing videos with my 14-year-old grandson. We have done videos on old and modern technologies, take trips to antique and secondhand stores, as well as visited lots of vehicle lots. (Some days we even cook together!) We hope to do a lot more as it seems to gain a life of its own. We are not professionals, but my hope is to encourage others to take the time to experience the thoughts and thinking of younger folks.
I also recently began doing a podcast with a 32-year-old friend about issues of the day. (We just completed a couple of them on social media and this week we take on the “cancel culture”.) We have different backgrounds and he is half my age, but our heart is not only to talk about the issues of the day but remain friends in our lives, even when we don’t agree about an approach to a topic.
Positive News For You is about making the world a better place. To not only report changes and accolades but the willingness to broach topics and challenge all of us to make a difference where we live.
I want to affect the change that folks did for me as a young child. To receive from younger people the enthusiasm and passion as well as so much of their creativity.
My heart and prayer for my generation are we leave goodness and kindness as our legacy. Taking the time to make a difference for all.
I hope you will join me on this journey.
An excerpt from a recent article.
“I could do that!”
That is one of the most powerful statements one can voice. (For years, I have told people to look at the powerful things being done in other places and think about how you might do those good things where you live.)
I love when I post a story from one part of the country, only to see other similar stories, meeting the challenge elsewhere. One of the recent ones was the “tipping challenge” that began in Ohio and just jumped to Florida!
What about those who stand up and say, “I could do that”.