Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In praise of the young

When was the last time that you shook your head in disbelief at the horror, stupidity, idiocy and stark raving madness of the young? Last might? This morning? Youth are the all time record holders in the use of that set of amazing skills that are needed to make older men and women perform the physical expression of "Oh dear lord, honestly!" They have the ability to do this quite frequently to jaded adults who have pretty much seen a whole load more than they would care to have witnessed and have heard, touched, tasted and smelt more that they would rather forget than acknowledge even to themselves.

As an older man, I too am not immune to such bobble-headed responses to things. I shake my head in disbelief at the horror, stupidity, idiocy and stark raving madness of adults who shake their heads in disbelief at the  horror, stupidity, idiocy and stark raving madness of youth.

As older men and women, let us face an old fact once more. This time, full in the face. The older three generations of humans have so messed with the livability of this planet that, let alone acknowledging our opinions on the specific brands of vodka that floats their boat,  it is a wonder that the youth of the world even want to tolerate us. In fact, for most of them, their only rational acknowledgement of us should be one of horrified amazement that such a group as us actually have the audacity to claim the right to share this planet with them. Instead, they have given us the worst punishment that anyone can give anyone else - the Brahma Dandana - the censure of the Gods, the punishment meted out by the righteous and the truthful, namely, ignoring us completely. If we, the older, have an iota of dignity left, if we, having spent years denying mother earth even the ghost of a chance to make this world habitable for its animals, plants and people, have any smidgen of honesty left, we would be collectively performing a very deep, decades long o-jigi while repeating "nos fuerunt culpabiles" over and over again.

That is not going to happen. In our egotistic clarity, in our overarching self-belief, in our passion for self-promotion, we still naively believe we are the best there is. We still believe we can solve this world which we problematized in the first place. The sheer stupidity of that assertion hangs like a pall, a poisonous, impenetrable fog over the planet and those who will have to inherit it. In our madness, we will go to our graves shouting and cheering as even more muck is tossed into the lungs of the earth by our living peers, gagging, choking and killing of those we had no right to bring into this world in the first place.

What have we done?

What we have done, over time, is to gradually become the older. That's it. That's all. That is the only claim we can realistically make and it is automatic. However, have we become the elder? Emphatically, no. Aging is automatic, eldership needs to be worked for. Elder status is an organic outcome of the insights, wisdom, tolerance, kindness, forbearance and compassion that comes over time to deeply concerned beings who have lived their lives at the highest level of quality possible.  Instead, we have been horrible, stupid, idiotic and stark raving mad in the way in which we lived out lives and continue to live out our lives. From our leaders to our beggers, we, the older, in the most part, are an angry, frustrated, greedy, intolerant bunch of never-should-have-been has-beens who should rightly be ignored, disenfranchised, marginalized and placed in a sealed container labelled "Danger! Extremely toxic material. Do not open". Given our collective track record, there is no automatic ascension to the status of "elder" merely by dint of the fact that we are "older".

I am not being very compassionate to us geriatrics am I? I am smiling here. How can I possibly be? I am part of that older disaster that still, earnestly claims to be human despite the gamut of evidence to the contrary. "Compassion" is a word I have no right to understand let alone internalize. Doesn't leave me in a good light either right? I agree. However, I do have one defense albeit a very feathery one. From the time I was a youth all the way through two retirements, I have never lost my trust in the younger generation and have been stubborn to the point of abrasiveness in my belief in it and its ability to somehow undo the mess that we have created and passed on to them.

The elder Phil Kaye

And it was just a blind faith for quite sometime until I tried to obtain proof of it through my work with them. I was startled by the sheer numbers of high quality human beings I met through engagement in both global development and spiritual development. Their take on life for the most part substantially differed from ours in one very significant way. When we were cutting the keys that would open the doors through which we wished to walk in our lives, our primary concern was whether or not that path would lead to gain for us. While they are cutting theirs, they were looking at the past, present and future and attempting to identify the role that most suited them in their collective push to set to rights from their generation, the wrongs that were visited upon them by ours. While we were looking at how relevant we could be to ourselves they are looking at how they could be relevant to the planet. While we were asking ourselves how we could make optimal use of the opportunities presented to us, they are asking themselves how they can optimally use their skills to create opportunities for all of them. While we were extroverting a perversive introversion they are introverting a pervasive extroversion.

And not just a few... hundreds of thousands of them. Believe me, unlike the quality human beings of our generations who are few and far between, there is am embarrassment of riches in terms of quality among the younger. Over the last few years, if I learned nothing, it is this: That while I am being suffocated by the badness of the older generations attempting to force their collective insanity down everyone's throats, I am up to my knees in the goodness of the younger generations that are fighting hard for my sanity while ignoring me completely. I am not content, obviously. That is not possible until this younger generation becomes the older and elder generation but I  am vastly relieved that the earth based continuum would preserve, in spite of the insanity of the last three generations and because of the sanity of the next.

 We are the older. They are the elder. It is still possible for us to learn from them. *soft smiles*

The elder Sarah Kay 

(This post was triggered by these two beautiful videos that were sent to me by my former wife as a sort of online birthday present - thanks Dushy)

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