The 1960's. A decade often referred to, especially by those of us who lived through them. Most particularly persons such as myself, whose formative years were the 1960's. It was a decade in which the "generation gap" was recognized, touted, over-worked and made-fun-of. It was a decade of change. It was a lot more than a decade ought to be required to be.
Mythical, that's what it was. Yet something real. I, being now an old person (at 57 venerable years of age,) can look back at that decade and see it as a demarcation line for a lot of stuff. My parents still live, and are doing pretty well. I still see them as different from "us."
"Us," of course, being "we" who were formed during the 1960's or those who came later. I just don't sense the difference between myself and my children that I sense between myself and my parents. Oh, we are not the same, my children's generation and mine. Perhaps the big difference is that I recognize that, and I think it is fine. We should be different.
I don't expect them to automatically adopt my values. Neither the corporate values (whatever they might be) of my generation or my personal values. With the people who were formed before the 1960's there seems to be that expectation, and shock (even after all of this time) when those values are not adopted and held in high esteem.
Perhaps that is the difference. I accept fluidity and flux in all aspects of life as the normal way things are. I don't really have an idea of "how things should be," so I am not shocked when they aren't that way. It is strange that the generation that survived the huge fluctuations surrounding the Great Depression and World War II aren't flux-oriented, but they aren't.
One commentator I read (and of course the name of whom I don't recall) noted that a significant part of that generation served in the military or some similarly regimented system adopted to meet the demands of a world-spanning war. It might be that. They had a war to fight, a war for survival that was really about survival.
We had Viet Nam. A dumb-ass war that had no real purpose, except for the anti-communist ideologists who tried to put communism in the same world-threatening basket as Hitler and Hirohito. Yeah, right. Not to denigrate the very real sacrifices of my brothers-in-arms who actually fought in Viet Nam. Those were real sacrifices, but sacrifices for what? I am still not clear on that matter.
True, I have had Vietnamese friends who benefited from the events there by eventually coming to America and participating in the American Dream. Still, the sacrifice was considerable and the gain negligible. But, this post isn't about Viet Nam, per se. Nor is it about the current lot of dumb-ass wars we are involved in.
It is about a very real difference in generations demarcated by the decade called the 1960's. The world began changing at an increasingly rapid pace in that generation. We grew up with change as the normal way of things. Many of us embraced change. Most learned to live with it and not be shocked by the fluidity and flux.
This shall be posted into the blogosphere via Blogger, and into the even more fluid place called Facebook. It will be read by (perhaps) a DOZEN people. Few of them will have been formed before the 1960's. There is some vague possibility that someone will make a comment. Even less likely, but still possibly, someone will be impacted by my prose and their lives will change.
What is my hope? I am not entirely sure, but I would love for some of my word-stones being cast into the flux and fluidity to cause the kind of ripple that makes someone think. It would be lovely if I changed a life for the better. It might be fun if it went viral, as well, but that isn't likely and isn't really important to me.
Mostly, I hope that should a reader have to deal with a dinosaur from the era before 1960 they will deal gently with them. The flux and fluidity is threatening to them, and they might be a bit afraid. Be gentle, and listen to the stories they will tell. Listen, as an act of kindness.
I am currently 62 years old. At present I am a retired correctional officer with 20 years of service. (My real job these days is being a Grandpa.)
I am married to my long-suffering wife, Linda. I have three children; Matthew, Beth, and Jon. I currently have six grandchildren; Alexandra, Madelyn, Wyatt, Lucas, Abigail and Landon.