We have arrived at the time when no one wants to be old. What that means is that there is no respect for the time and depth (not to mention the grace) needed to arrive at old age. Even as I get older, I see a clear difference between young people who understand and revere their elders and those who believe that we are just “in the way”.
My father often quoted George Bernard Shaw’s adage: “youth is wasted on the young”. He never expected me to understand it at the time but he made sure that I heard it often enough to get it later. For the uninitiated, the adage refers to the loss of agility and strength one suffers with the accumulation of years contrasted with the improvement in judgment, temperament and experience.
In 2015 there are too many young men scurrying about with their trousers sagging at or below their buttocks. This is called ‘style’. We had it also, ours was the widest of ‘bellbottom’ pants with stacked platform shoes and immaculately coiffed long natural hair. Someone remarked to me recently that young people seek to find that which will irritate the older generation most and embellish it. My grandmother really hated my long hair at the beginning.
I have been vexed by the young in their sagging pants and considerably more by older “hip-hop” men wearing sagging pants, hooded sweatshirts, and other accouterment of the stylish young. I’ve always assumed that staying in the forefront of the stylish was something for those with something to prove i.e. young bucks wanting to score points with women or the in-crowd. Logically then, what are these older men trying to prove? Why do they need to exhibit their hipness or worth?
Suddenly, the elder Boomers are finding themselves somewhat uniquely recreating “aging in America”. We boomers are retiring later, having children, exercising more strenuously and living it up more than any other generation at our age. So is the ultimate effect of being in a youth-loving culture having a derivative effect on us? Are we diminishing our elders at the risk of losing half of the ‘village’?
I offer observations, I don’t know that I have any concrete conclusions at this point and of course, I’m not getting any younger . . .