“Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.” Fr. John Sheehan, S.J.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I try. I really do try not to be like my parents were, about change.
I was reminded a while ago that my ravings were reminiscent of the "you young whippersnappers!" of yesteryear. I remember those reactions to our generation. I remember dismissing them. I remember thinking..."oh dude, you are soooo old...you just don't get it".
When I recently heard that kind of observation about me from someone my age...I stopped dead in my tracks...and had to think about that one for a while. Am I that transparent? Have I fallen prey to my age and have now become..here it comes..."resistant to change"? That phrase, as anyone that has been employed in the last 20 years can tell you, is the ultimate anathema to those struggling to maintain political correctness(and their job). It's a stinging slap in the face. It hurts.....and more importantly...it works. A manager can use those three little words to get just about anything they want done. It's micro-management at it's best. No one wants to be accused of it. No one wants to be assessed as clinging to the past or the tried-and-true. It's comparable to being called anti-semitic....and just about as valid.
Having been accused of that one too many times in my business career, it occurred to me to retort in a meeting once..."no, I am not resistant to a change for the better, I would welcome it"...and that seems to have filtered into my views of the world as a whole. When an off-hand comment of this caliber is hurled my way, I find myself applying that meter to the issue...is it a change for the better?
You might say "better" is subjective, but I say that there is a universal common-sense morality that can place "better" in perspective. Peace is better than war. Understanding is better than bigotry and blind hatred...and so on.
Back in the '60's, we "freaks"(NO we were not damned "hippies"), of course did not see eye-to-eye with our parents. But we DID connect with our Grandparents. That always puzzled me. Why could our folks not see what was clear to theirs? It dawned on me years later that our parents were caught up in the "change for change sake" of the post-war era and our Grandparents knew better...as did we. Our parent's generation was sold something that was not a change for the better. They were sold a shiny used car that couldn't actually run and get them where they wanted to go. It was so obvious to us kids, that it just seemed to be "common sense" that materialism was a very BAD mistake. We reveled in our peaceful wisdom which was against the grain. It was fun and fun-loving. It provided us with a rebellion and, before it was spoiled by the establishment's provocateurs (the abbie hoffmans , jerry rubins and yippies) and distorted by the money-media, we lived in a dream world of our ancestors. We truly believed that we could defeat the powers that be, by wishing them peace. Little did we know that peace was the last thing they wanted.
Our parents were ripe for "change". They had endured the Great Depression as children and a devastating world-war as adults...any change had to be for the better...right? Well, we are reaping the horrible effects of THAT "change" even now. Our "change" was purchased and locked away. Was all this engineered from the top down? Of course, but that's a different post.
I can tell how old the moderators and writers of the web's alternative sites are. The shadow of that by-gone era of wanting change for the better and not just change...lingers on with us "old guys".
Posted by Timster at 11:50 AM