Old People

While i do love old people and all their wisdom; ep, my college, and my living situation have afforded me with more opportunity to collect a menagerie of old people 'friends' than I would know what to do with if I kept them all. I guess that is just the way the world is turning now...it's aging. Where does that leave young people...living in a world full of old people which caters to old people?

It's not like it used to be. Today we dont hang out with our peers as much, we dont have time for fun or room for mistakes; it's almost as if we are old people ourselves, cautious, careful, overprotected, isolated, even bedridden. Is this healthy for young people? What will happen when we all realize that we've been cheated of that part of our lives that is meant to exist for exploration, learning, and fun? I don't think we can reclaim it later.

Finally, our parents have succeeding in molding their children into the people they never were and in the process ruined the perfect beauty that once existed in the flow of life from youth to old age. We are responsible robots achieving things that they could only ever dream of achieving. I hope they are proud.

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Disclaimer: I know, I know...this seems contradictory to some previous stories I have written about the plight of young people, but I don't think it is, because despite the unemployment and dependence and homelessness that plague young people, our parents still see us in the light of the things they never had: highly educated, technologically savvy, and not hippies...and that, to them, seems to me to be what really matters.

Disclaimer 2: I also know that many older people (and by older people I mean people who have already fully experienced youth and come out on the other side, or maybe just decided to extend that time period in their lives) would disagree with my assessment of the situation judging from their experiences with young people. And really, I dont care what you have to say about what I wrote and how 'wrong' you think I am. I did not post this story so that I could debate my feelings on the matter with you, because these are just my feelings, nothing more. I also do not feel like I deserve any comments which are solely for the purpose of telling me to 'suck it up' and 'stop complaining' about things. I do not feel like this story is a 'complaint' story at all, nor do I feel a 'victim' of the situation. In fact, stories like the one above more often give me feelings of empowerment over situations out of my control rather than feelings of victimhood and helplessness. I feel that putting the things I think about into verbal expression gives me more control over them, so this story could more accurately be viewed as an evaluation or an exploration of life in the present day, life of young people to be exact, which it just so happens I am a part of and have grown up alongside of. Thus I feel that I have a greater understanding and solidarity with young people than anyone who does not just so happen to be one of, not that I would discredit your experience solely on that basis, but that I feel you would have to have strong evidence in order to change the conclusions I have come to from my own personal experiences.
shannonymous shannonymous
18-21, F
1 Response Jan 15, 2013

I think that generations past had to grow up and be more responsible much younger than the past two or three generations. I think that as our standard of living has increased the burden on young people has lessened. I look back at my family....two generations ago an 8th grade education was it and a full time job and helping support the family at 15. I guess I see it from my own small experience but I don't think I want to trade.......just as you are writing from yours!

i think they were given more freedom, and with freedom comes responsibility so yes, i would agree that they had more responsibility at a younger age. But I also think they were given such freedom whether they were responsible with it or not, it was the status quo, whereas today such freedoms are luxuries for people my age, regardless of how responsible one proves themself to be. As for your point of view regarding young people, I hear that from old people all the time, and I think it is wrong to think that way about young people today...and I think it causes a lot of problems and divisiveness. And yeah, we already KNOW you had to walk up hill both ways in the snow...we already know you had to work your way through college...that doesn't give you the authority to talk smack about US and say (in effect) that we have it 'easy' in comparison...perhaps it is just easier for you to think that than trying to understand from a young person's perspective...which granted, we all know you have no obligation to do so, I've written about that somewhere before too though...

I think you are right on with the freedoms and responsibilities.

I also think you are right on with our views being formed by our own experience.

I have had it damn easy and DO NOT want to trade with either a generation before or a generation after. I DID NOT walk up hill to school. I have no authority to make assumtions or judgements about your generation just as you have none to do the same to mine.

HOLY ****! This means I'm old.

****....when did that happen?

I think back then, kids had to account for their own actions personally...so if they did something stupid they paid for it themselves, because they were more autonomous than we are allowed or able to be today. They didnt HAVE to rely on their parents/grandparents/etc, and doing so was seen as a bad thing, whereas today it is the status quo and the only way available to a lot of young people including myself. With that reliance on others comes less freedom...and a greater expectation to live according to someone else's rules and guidelines than one's own. It's not that we are lazy or inept or irresponsible or whatever, we are none of those things, this is the world we have inherited and we are just trying to make the best out of it...which is harder to do when people are telling you what to do and how you are wrong and stuff like that.

Most people think young people today are spoiled or whatever because we don't get to be so autonomous and we are so reliant/dependent on our parents/grandparents/etc. Thing is when you think that you assume that we CHOOSE to be that way, that is false. And then when we stand up for ourselves and say we don't deserve to be blamed people start throwing around the word "entitled"...also false. In reality, the blame game is a losing strategy for solving anything, and I learned that in like 1st grade. But I guess people just don't really care about this problem because they think it doesnt affect them and because most young people don't talk about it...that is the way things usually go.

he he, ok...i agree. Except I do think you people had like NO fashion sense whatsoever.

I see what you are saying. Hadn't thought about it that way. *thinks again* So where we might see it (**** I'm admitting to being old again) as young people having things given, you see it as being given another handicap to breaking out and flying. I can see that. Hamstrung by rules that have been applied as a result of the "advantages" given.

exactly, thank you for getting it :)

I think there is a freedom shortage for young people, so a lot of us (myself included) feel that the only way to achieve that freedom is by being 100% responsible 100% of the time (or at least as close to that as is possible)...and we have a perfectionist complex, where if we do something wrong we blame ourselves (even if others dont) and feel like we have to work even harder to get what was at one time taken for granted by society's youth, freedom. And in this process our peers become less 'friends' and more competitors for success (aka freedom)...which also is why I am completely sick of competition in that sense. Of course, not ALL young people feel this way, but those who don't are the ones who will settle for less freedom and independence, whether it be living under their parents' roof forever, being enslaved to an unsatisfying job, relying on government assistance, etc. That is the freedom shortage I am talking about, only those who have enough guidance and support of their pursuit of freedom (whether that be monetary support of simply moral support), or those who desire it enough for themselves to virtually go through hell to get it, are able to do so, unlike in the past.

And I also believe that all of this is mainly a result of our capitalist, corporate, and consumerist ways...in more ways than one.

I'll shut up now :)

To be honest I am in no shape tonight to debate your last statement.....nooo...not the one where you are shutting up.

I would argue that you are right about consumerist ways contributing but not so sure about capitalism or "corporate" ways.

Enslaved to an unsatisfying job? I think much of that is your point of view. My family in past generations has viewed a job as more of a means to an end and a way to put food on the table rather than a means of satisfaction. Granted two generations ago they were farmers with little choice of anything else living in the poorest county in our state. My grandfather worked in the same factory for 30 plus years. Job satisfaction wasn't an issue. I think it's a trade. You don't have the freedom they had but they didn't have a lot of what you have either. Freedom? Yeah...he could have done whatever he wanted but he didn't have very much choice of a means of survival. Education wasn't an option. Work with your hands or starve was about it.

I would just like to politely point out that your parents and grandparents did those things to put food on the table as you say...but today's young people (actually prolly older than your grandparents and parents were) often dont even have the luxury of having said table; they are putting off or forgoing altogether the prospect of raising a family. I would also like to point out that the nature of the work, the benefits and pay of the work, the requirements of being hired to do the work, and perhaps most importantly the stability of the work today is much different. I am not ignorant about the past, I don't have to hear the "I walked up hill both ways in the snow" argument again, I have heard it a billion times...I'm not going to forget it, don't worry. I'm not trying to make this into a "who had it worse" contest, trust me. I'm not trying to make you or anyone else feel guilty either. Like I said, these are just my feelings, whether you want to read about them or not is your choice entirely. Whether you want to think I have something important to say or whether I am just complaining about **** I know nothing about, also up to you. I don't want to debate either, I just want to express myself and put it out there for my own benefit and for the benefit of anyone who might need to hear it and learn from it, if that is not you then that is fine, I will have nothing against you, I have no expectations when I write these things, I don't believe that anyone has the obligation to agree with me.

"Work with your hands or starve was about it." Again, I think this reflects the autonomy that people throughout history have had, not just your parents and grandparents. It's just that the direction things have been going is all about changing that scenario and people assume that is the right direction to go because we no longer have to work or starve, but I think they also take for granted that just because we have 'safer' lives does not necessarily mean we have 'better' lives...and I would argue that we don't really have it safer, it's just that danger and harm is different today than it was back then. We don't really have less people dying or getting hurt, we just do so differently, in ways that are less obvious now and less understood. Though we also have the same old ways in some places too.

Your feelings thoughts and opinions are important. To me....it's not a debate, argument or anything of the sort....it's just an attempt at seeing it through someone elses eyes. You have done much to help me see it through yours. I was trying the same. Feel free to tell me to shut up or **** off. My feelings won't be hurt.

well, i respect your opinion, but I think I just need to work on figuring out what I'm trying to say and saying it better. It's brewing inside my head, one of these days I will have worked out what it really is, and put all these little puzzle pieces into one picture that anyone would be able to see and understand. slowly but surely :)

I guess that is part of being young though, not having it all figured out yet :)

You have done a good job of making an old man view things differently already. Keep it up.

:) yay! *pats self on back*

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