July-August 2017 Issue of Inside Northside Magazine1707web

Page 30

IN Other Words by Becky Slatten

KING SOLOMON SAID, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” But I wonder sometimes—do you think there were Hipsters and Millennials in the Old Testament? To understand each generation, we have to look at the one before. So just how did The Greatest Generation—those men and women who survived the deprivation of the Great Depression AND fought World War II—give way to The Greatest Generation to Graduate From College And Still Live With Their Parents, aka Millennials? I have a theory. I remember my grandparents telling unbelievable stories about the Depression. It’s incomprehensible to imagine an entire nation literally struggling to survive, only to then go to war. But perhaps overcoming hardship after hardship is what shaped this generation into the patriotic, hard-working, frugal, resilient citizens they became. And then they had kids. One can hardly blame these poor people for wanting better for their offspring, but they unwittingly created a domino effect for generations to come of wanting better for their kids until, in some cases, the kids have it better than the parents. The Silent Generation came on the heels of this “Can Do” era; “the seen and not heard” were rule followers who thrived in the peaceful post WWII lull, and at least some of them preoccupied themselves with producing the Baby Boomers. The Boomers are a very diverse and interesting generation; a roughly

twenty-year span that encompassed the Korean and Vietnam wars as well as the Hippie movement—free love and psychedelic drugs. I can recall the same Southern Baptist grandparents mentioned above lamenting the state of the world circa 1972—surely the end is nigh. But a funny thing happened on the way to Woodstock. The hippies bought stocks and bonds, they got jobs and haircuts and they invested in real estate. The last of this generation created the dot. com phenomenon, and quite a few millionaires were made in the dawn of e-commerce. And another phenomenon was born within the Baby Boom—the helicopter parent came alive. I don’t know about you, depends on what year you were born I guess, but my parents were not my personal valets. The oneand-only time my dad brought my forgotten lunchbox to school cured me of ever forgetting my lunch again; in fact, I’d rather go hungry. My siblings and I were orbiting planets in our family, and our parents are were the sun. Somewhere along the way, the children have become the center of the universe, and now the parents orbit the soccer fields and the dance recitals. I’m not saying it’s bad. In fact, there are countless positives associated with kids being involved in sports and activities. I can only compare it with my childhood experience of after-school dance class. In 6th grade, I rode my bike home

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