I should be peppy and lively. I should be able to find the ingredients to get the laundry done, to go take a few pictures. Something.
I’m too beat up to find anything remotely effervescent in me right now. It has been a grueling few months. Not always in a bad way, but still exhausting and the crazy humid heat has not helped. I also suspect that my tolerance for extremes of weather is diminishing with the years because I’m far less energetic now than I was even a few months ago.
The combination of personal crises, national calamities, climate change, and a general sense that everything I worked for and cared about is being undone in such a short time, my head is spinning. The best part of the summer has been our winning baseball team. You know life has gotten awfully rough when you cling to sports as the only positive thing happening in your world.
I sense that I am not alone in feeling this way, either.
I read a piece on Facebook the other day where some Millennial was pointing out that we — the Boomer Generation — should stop blaming them and start accepting responsibility for handing them such a crappy world.
It suddenly crossed my mind that the world into which I was born was not exactly perfection, either. These kids have no idea how it was to grow up in a world where jobs were listed under Male and Female only … and if you weren’t white, there were no jobs listed at all. To live in a world where the only birth control was “not doing it” or a condom — and you couldn’t even buy a condom if you were under 18.
The voting age was 21, but the drinking age was 18. Great combination, wasn’t it?
The rivers and air were horribly polluted. We invented Earth Day, got the Civil Rights Bill passed. Cleaned up the air. You know the air over New York and Los Angeles used to be orange? Not just at sunset but all the time from the massive amounts of pollution. The river which runs through our Valley was one of the most polluted rivers in North America. We cleaned it up, along with the Hudson, Boston Harbor, and many other places.
We didn’t do all this because the earth was a perfect place, but because we saw how bad it was becoming and fought to fix it. I don’t blame Millennials for feeling they got the short end of some stick, but that stick has been pretty damned short for a really long time. Before I was born and for that matter before my mother was born too.
Garry grew up in a Jim Crow world. I grew up in a world where most of the people “like me” had been butchered or gassed to death. I had friends die of putrid abortions performed with a wire hanger. You really don’t need to tell me that we left you an evil world. It wasn’t wonderful when we got it, either.
Welcome to the real world. There’s been more than enough evil in the human world for a very long time. Whoever you are, whatever generation you come from, it’s time you stopped whining about whose fault it is or was.
It doesn’t matter who caused what. Get your act together, put your shoulder to the wheel, and start pushing to make it a better place. The big bad boomer bunch did that. I’m terribly sorry it has come unglued so quickly and I don’t feel really happy watching all the things I worked for fall apart. It is shocking, horrifying, and deeply depressing. But on the other hand, I didn’t vote for that asshole.
Regardless, I’m too old to go out and fix it. I would if I could, but me and my generation — we’ve done our part. Our effervescence is gone. The ingredients you need to fix this bad old world are yours now.
Get up and do something. Vote. Run for office. Get a decent education. Learn some history.
It doesn’t matter who made it this way. It has been working on becoming this way for hundreds of years and if you don’t get yourselves moving, it will simply get worse and your children will blame it on you.
Except you know what? If you don’t start to work on making it better, your kids’ worlds will be a whole lot worse than yours.
Are you registered to vote? Will you vote?