When I started writing about my experiences in the sixties I didn’t plan to go into quite as much depth. The point that I was out to make was that at the beginning of the sixties I was a child and by the end of the sixties I was an adolescent. Adolescence is a strange time in a persons life. We suddenly have the body of an adult with a mind that hasn’t quite caught up. We are feeling emotions and thinking thoughts that we have no experience with.
What’s worse is that in our society there is profound discomfort on the part of many parents when it comes to the task of talking with their children about sensitive topics like sex and career choices and how to choose a life partner. And, to add to the problem, the discomfort is passed down from generation to generation.
I find myself at sixty one, just beginning to appreciate what I want to do with my life, how I should have raised my children, what is important and what is not. This could have happened forty or fifty years ago if my parents had been taught how help me with these issues. What’s worse, my children and grandchildren face similar delayed epiphanies.
I look at the generation that is just getting out of college and I see how so many parents have failed their children. We have taught them that they should get a trophy for just participating. We have taught them that they can live at home as long as they like. It was made clear to me that when I got married, I was on my own.
The world is different. College costs more. College or some other form of post secondary education is expected of anyone who wants to pursue a good job that pays a living wage with benefits like health insurance and a retirement plan. And modern retirement plans aren’t the pensions that were common when we started working. They are typically deals where the employer matches employee contributions to a 401K up to a certain percentage of their salary.
We’re faced with the fear of many more jobs being done by machines in the very near future. This should be good news. We should all be reaping the benefit of a more productive society. After all, in order to make money selling goods and services you have to have customers to buy them. And those customers have to have income available to spend on those goods and services.
Is it any wonder that the world is in such chaos? The fundamental economic model is being invalidated and no one knows what we are going to replace it with. But in spite of all this uncertainty I’m convinced that the only way through this is to face our fears and love one another. I’m not sure of much but I am sure that love is the answer. Pure, unconditional, brotherly love. Namaste.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.