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Cross Another Place 'Off the List'

In the America of the past, old people probably envied the young, and for good reasons. Look at the advantages of the young:

  1.  More years to live.
  2.  Likely to have a higher standard of living.
  3.  Healthy and good looking.

As a post-World War II baby boomer, my generation might be the first generation of Americans not to envy the young.

But as I travel around southwestern Utah, another angle pops up: the young simply don't know what they have lost. Just look at this place! The hectic traffic, the price of housing, the difficulty of parking, the crowdedness of recreation on public lands, and fees and rules on everything. I actually remember when it wasn't like that!

I am not saying the young should slash their wrists. There are still plenty of chances to enjoy a good life, after making the right decisions. But one more wonderful place is no longer wonderful. I was so lucky to experience it while it was still good.

As for the young, they should be grateful they have no real basis of comparison. That is their biggest advantage.


Vernon Hauser said…
It's not age , it's were all trying to be at the same place at the same time . Never should of invented time .
Vernon, yes the crowds are worse at certain times. But the windows of opportunity keep getting narrower every year, at most places.
XXXXX said…

You say 'They don't know what they have lost.'

So true but I would add many more thoughts to your list. You speak of the hectic life, the crowdedness. Our generation lost out on that too...wide open spaces, smaller cities and towns, most people were farmers who lived next to the land. All of which created neighbors helping neighbors for there was no big government or property insurance. I often wonder about those days which I never knew.

We knew the days long before the internet which, as lovely as it is in so many ways, also has created social media which is bizarre to say the least. I think it is the cause of half the population being possessed.

Kids play video games instead of kick-the-can. Do they even play with plastic horses and rubber soldiers any more? We used to make up our own scenarios and the plot would play out over days and days, hence developing our imaginations. Now the script is given to the kid and he has to comply with it. Kids don't play baseball in the street anymore. Their parents take them to organized leagues where everyone has to follow the rules. We played in the street and made up our own rules and solved all our arguments ourselves. If some other kid punched us and we ran home crying, our parents probed us to find out how we contributed to the situation. Now the parent runs over to the other parent and threatens a lawsuit.

Vernon's response about time is very interesting. He's talking about the invention of clock time not internal time. Big difference. Harking back to the days when the rising sun told you it was time to work and when it was time to stop. Clock time has made us all slaves. I like to imagine village life several centuries ago when the only indication of 'clock time' was the clock on the church steeple which never could keep correct time anyway. And nobody much cared either for it simply didn't matter.

Nice post. George
George, I could relate to your paragraph "Kids play video games." Every time I drive through suburban America I wonder where all the kids are!