I know it’s risky to get sentimental about things nowadays, but I find myself becoming more and more mellow and appreciative of where I live, the longer I live here. Now, that’s a dangerous admission because at this moment, I can already imagine the eye-rolling going on out there among the younger readers (and by younger, I mean anyone who doesn’t have at least four or five pairs of “three-dollar” reading glasses lying around the house on coffee tables, end tables, bookshelves, and other strategic places). Eye-rolling is fine. It’s a healthy form of the art of respectful protest of older generations. Eye-Rolling(ER) and Subtle Head-Shaking(SHS) are both ways that the younger crowd can secretly comment about the older crowd, “Bless their hearts, they just don’t get it anymore.” “ER and SHS” are examples of the techniques that Gen XYZ, or Alpha, or Millennials, use to silently demonstrate their pity but also their superiority of the fading baby boomer generation and how they squandered opportunities and missed the chance to create the perfect world. Well, you say, every generation must have its own crusade, and these kids just need something to protest. That’s fair, I guess, but some of the things that I happen to need are things like Social Security checks and Medicare coverage. The Beatles generation and the 80s Disco crowd all like those things too. We get downright sentimental, mellow, and appreciative when it comes to that because most of us entered the labor force back before Chubby Checker could do the twist. So, we need the Gen XYZ and all the rest of ‘em to get out there and keep working and keep paying those payroll taxes to Uncle Sam, cause I’m pretty sure we can’t count on A.I. and the Robots to pay their fair share. And the main thing is, you don’t want to see a bunch of MeMas, Gammys, PopPops, and Ammas out there on their walkers trying to stop traffic protesting social security cuts.
For the most part, this country has always been able to rely on the promise of tomorrow. You might not need reading glasses yet, but you will, and if you don’t care about Medicare now, one day you also will. With a little common sense in our government, social security and health care will endure and do what they’re supposed to do. For that to happen, there must finally be some real give and take in Congress. This country, for all its faults, is an amazing place. Each generation plays a vital role and brings its own advancements and contributions. In turn, the system requires work and loyalty and support from each one. I like living where I’m living, and one of the best things about it is when you reach a certain age, things like eye-rolling and head-shaking don’t bother you a bit. What does bother you is the thought that somewhere along the line, the next crusade of the protesters might be a radical rethinking and readjustment of the way our system works and how it looks at the responsibilities of government versus the individual. In a competently run democracy, the future always promises hope. Our best hope is that a strong, free generation of Americans will always be there, ready to step up when it’s their turn to make sure that the privilege of living and growing old and liking it wherever you like is your free choice in this country.