The Intergenerational Tipping Point.

As I see our American society today we are at the tipping point, the fulcrum being the foundation of what America will look like the next 100 years.  On one side of the lever are those who “want to make America great again,” and on the other end of the board is a conglomerate of Millennials and Gen Z, of all colors and persuasions, who have little knowledge of the “before,” but are grounded in what they daily see around them.

It is clear that the advantage is with the newer generations.  They will win.  The only question is how much damage, direct and collateral, to our society and our environment during this civil war.  It appears those now in control continue accelerating their “rape and pillage” mentality, rolling back environmental laws put in place over the last 100 years by those who understood at least some of the values needed to preserve our natural resources, and attempting to change laws protecting women, infants, poor and elderly people, all in the name of their “God.”

So the next few years will tell the final tale, as some factors such as global warming may go beyond any retrievable dynamic, setting the conditions for Earth’s ultimate demise as a habitable, heavenly creation.  Moreover, if certain measures being implemented by the current “old school” reach full criticality, such as rolling back Roe vs. Wade, killing Medicaid and reducing Medicare, messing with Social Security, inflicting untold misery on those seeking asylum at the foot of Lady Liberty, and continuing to start wars that they themselves never personally have to fight, then the next 100 years of potential will be sucked into cleaning up the muck they are spreading.

I remain positive however, and know the energy of the younger generation to effect the needed changes is limitless.  They are “woke,” and “overstand” clearly what they must do.

 

Advertisements

Musings on Life.

Life is a funny thing.  Poetically, life is like the tides at the shore, each tide rising and ebbing, each full of thousands of waves doing their thing, one by one, more or less sequentially, each totally unique in furry, pattern, sound and gifts deposited on the sand or rocks.  Many of these gifts are beautiful, shells and little creatures of nature’s design, and some are “ugly,” dead fish or even mammal carcasses stolen from the sharks and given to the birds, dead seaweed or jellyfish splayed on an alien surface.

Life is like this, life is the sea itself, but we are each a beach, molded a little with every wave, changing day by day but yet still there the next day.  We receive life’s gifts also, some with happiness, some with sadness, but mostly we just take these for granted, unfortunately.  If we could truly grasp the meaning of life, and embrace the false dichotomy of having both an infinite life but for now, a limited lifespan, we could live differently. As it is, most do not want to think of their present mortality, and have little concept of the infinite aspect of their being.

Aging is the play of life.  We model the format of plays after that of life itself.  Aging can be cruel.  I have sometimes thought that, “Heh, it would be nice to be born fully grown as an old person, then as we ‘age,’ become younger and younger and then die in the form of a new born babe?” Not sure how we could be born, obviously not the conventional way.  But just think, if one had the knowledge of an older person at the beginning of life, would it be possible to avoid doing things that later one regrets?  So you could actually live a wonderful life with minimal difficulties?  I don’t know.  Likely the wisdom of the universal Mind feels differently.

How we come into this world is even a strangely little understood phenomenon in itself:  we understand it biologically of course, but how our human life comes to be conscious of itself it not understood.  Does the new born babe come from “nothing?” Is it then just a successive product of its environment as it grows daily? This seems highly illogical to me.  So I ask, how can so many of Western religions in this “magic” (something from nothing) rather than belief as in Eastern and many other religions such as Ifa, that humans are reincarnated (of course, interpretations of this view differ across the spectrum of such believers), so “not something from nothing, but rather a continuation of something.”  The latter corresponds to all know physical properties of the universe as to energy and matter, whereas being born from just an egg and sperm doing a dance does not.

The aging process is naturally conducive to what we humans need and require to live our lives of course.  When young we are energetic, do wild things and learn from these; when in our 20’s-30’s we began to grasp adulthood and the responsibilities (whether or not we fully accept these is another story), and moving through our 40’s and 50’s we feel like we are much more in control and if we have lived our earlier years fairly well, we can enjoy the fruits of life in all ways.  Then comes the 60’s and by then we begin to sense that most of our life has been lived, and begin to wonder about what’s left.

I am nearing my mid-70’s now, and find it both interesting and strange.  In many ways mentally I feel much younger, and although my eyesight is not very sharp I feel what I see is through the eyes of someone younger in a lot of ways.  Yet, when those same eyes see myself in the mirror or camera selfie, I can only marvel at the power of nature to change us physically, but in exchange is the wisdom I know nature has given in return, a wisdom that will coach me on through my remaining days, each day trading another wrinkle for a bit of wisdom.  A fair trade I would say.

The point of this posting is just to say, live each day to the fullest, sincerely, not just figuratively.  But never despair, because your life is truly infinite, your energy and your essence was never born and will never die, so just relax ok.

Have a great day!

 

Golden years.

So I went looking for a photo to best illustrate today’s topic, typed in “golden years” and got lots of photos of cute golden retrievers and the Golden Gate bridge.  Apparently “golden years” are quite illusive.  My message to the younger generations (I am a retired Boomer) today is just that, if you have any vestige notion remaining, of working toward the “golden years” in the latter years of your lives, after you have already experienced a bit of today’s reality, please sit and reconsider.

My advice is to find your internal “holy man” and listen to his advice (or, if you prefer, holy woman…..I think I prefer).  Likely he will inform you, perhaps told as a parable, that the “golden years” are right now, son or daughter.

Like the American Dream – the neat house with green lawn and white fence – Golden Years in the traditional sense should no longer even be a faint aspiration.  The odds of you attaining sufficient private wealth to live in an upscale lifestyle are very small indeed. Of course many will, those who have by selected the right field of endeavor that reflects the spending power of mass consumption and who have managed their finances “wisely” and often selfishly, may live in modest or resplendent luxury one day, but that’s just a small fraction of your generations.

Your holy man probably will advise, “live your best life today, right now.”  Only you can decide what is your personalized “best life,” but I will second the holy guy’s advice.  There are absolutely no guarantees about “work hard and you will succeed.”  Not in today’s world.  So, to counter these odds, you merely have to live each day enjoying all the small things that are in your life, whether it is a smile from a boss,  a hug from your child, or the light in the eyes of your lover.  Sure, have your goals and work hard, but working toward something must not gloss over what you already have to enjoy right here and now.  Let you golden years be like golden butter mixed with honey, spread over all the slices of your life.

If you are making huge sacrifices right now to get to something “better,” I would urge you to rethink that:  all this does is set up a condition for the next big sacrifice for that which is even larger, and before long your life is a litany of sacrifices for those far off golden years, during which you may have many regrets about what you “could have done” if you had just slowed your thinking and recalibrated your wish list.

So, at least give what I say a little thought today, ok?

I also would say that it is better to share what you have, not just collect.  The returns on such investments in others’ joy will stock your pantry of blessings and help them along through their golden years of their lives.

Peace.

Adulthood & The Human Brain

I have been bothered for many years with the fact that we draw exact lines across the continuum of human aging, to define for societal values what is regarded as a person having reached adulthood.  These “lines in the sand” vary across the globe, depending on each culture’s history and values.  Here in the USA, such lines tend to be left to each state, when it comes to such matters as the minimum age at which one may marry, at what age may one consent to having sex, the minimum age to consume alcoholic beverages, driving and so on.  Given that these various age limits vary considerably and with many exceptions across the nation, it is clear that these have little at all to do with the capacity and capability of the brain to make adult decisions.

Most such laws are predicated on “religious” norms, historical cultural practice, and better yet, rarely, are evidence-based.  For instance, there is ample evidence that young girls becoming pregnant put them at very increased risk for themselves and the babies.  Nationally there is a movement to raise the minimum age for smoking tobacco to 21, and it goes without saying there are decades of evidence to support that if we want our youth to have a chance at a maximum life span.

In many tribal societies there are rites of passage – ritual initiation – that marks a person’s traversing the local customs of moving from childhood to young adulthood, and then to joining the elders later on.  Clearly we have no such customs in our “advanced” society.

And then there are the matters that really bother me in particular, relating to criminality, which “kid” gets sentenced as an adult, and the big one for me is the age at which we allow our youth to enter the military and fight, become wounded and die for our causes (usually fostered by politicians who generally have never served in the armed forces.)

Research in recent years has shown that the human brain does not really reach maturity until around the age of 25 (or even beyond for some, and it varies between sexes it seems) in terms of its ability to cognitively differentiate, to critically analyze, its situation and the complexity of factors that in theory should append to various decisions, daily ones and life decisions.  Anyone who is well up into adulthood can clearly recall the many stupid things we did when 18, and then well into our early 20’s.  I damn sure did my share!  And yet, still send out youth off to war.  I have to question whether this is not one of the higher forms of child abuse, really.

I clearly recall being 23, going off with my gold 2nd Lieutenant bars on my shoulders to fly jets in the Air Force.  Well, that was interrupted, but at the time I never gave a thought to the fact that I would possibly be flying in Viet Nam.  I was just on “auto pilot,” following a program that was modeled on my own father’s WW2 action.  There was no cognition of risk, of why, of consequences physically, mentally or morally.

So how could we do it differently I wonder?  Should we use some additional testing to determine the level of development of the young person’s brain with respect to making adult discriminations? Or should we keep the younger person in the rear echelon until the age of say 25? I don’t know, but I do know that our society needs to really think about this, if we are to move out of the shadow of the Dark Ages upon which the present notion of adulthood thrives.