Where’s Your Youth At?
“It took me along time to get young, and I consider myself young and I’m proud that I’m young.” These were words spoken by prophet, poet, singer and artist Bob Dylan.
When he made this statement his audience was far from youthful, but instead were mostly old, fat, bald men in suits at the Bill of Rights Celebration by the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. This got me thinking what the world be like without young people in it.
Many of the old quasi-educated types like to refer to the old cliché that “youth is wasted on the young” when they damn the next generation’s moral decline. God that saying makes me sick, what are they so angry & bitter about? Did their parents not love them when they were kids, were they not invited to play in the sand pit with the other children? What has got them so disgruntled that they see it fit to lambaste the youth like we are the dumb waiter that can never get the meal order right? What exactly has got their knickers in a twist?
Often I hear previous generations often say that this generation has it soft, constantly using the saying “back in my day…” like a preacher referencing scripture on Sunday service. Sure they grew up during the Great Depression, when almost everyone was poor. I’ve grown up in the generation where there is such a difference in wealth that it is depressing. They grew up with the threat of nuclear attack at anytime, I’m living in a time that you could be robbed, stabbed, raped, and killed at anytime never mind the fact that anytime I get on a plane we have been programmed to watch out for any likely terrorists because I may become the next statistic in a terror attack.
Granted, I have major respect for the previous generations, if it wasn’t for their technological advances we wouldn’t have most of the materialistic crap we all strive for today. Also they had to live with great political threats of Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon, when we have had to deal with the bungles of George W. Bush and Julius Malema. Then again, I can’t see which is worse.
What exactly is “youth”? If you believe Jerry Bruckhimer and Walt Disney, you believe that it is staying young and that there is a fountain which Jack Sparrow is looking for in the plot of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The dictionary defines it as “time when somebody is young: the period of human life between childhood and maturity”. I tend to think of it as a time in our lives when we don’t have any real cares, before the weight of the world has really set its fat ass on our shoulders. It’s a time when we can party, drink, makes mistakes and love. Basically it is a time where we can actually live.
Now back to the old people complaining about youngsters. Where they not young at one stage? Did they not have a period in their lives when could make mistakes and not really have to deal with the consequences? Did they not have time when they could party so much that they couldn’t remember what happened, and only have to deal with the hangover the morning after the night before? Did they not spend their days being with friends being truly happy? Did they not have they a time when they loved someone that it hurt them to be away from them, and passion set their lives alight? What did they do with their youth? Did they spend it trying to make others happy, much like they are currently still trying to do?
With all these old people complaining about young people, imagine if there were no youngsters. There would be nobody driving the economies and the businesses that makes they people fat and rich. There would be nobody to do they jobs that they pay others to do. There would be no one to test the cures that save their lives. There would be no one to fight their wars. Senator George McGovern said in his Presidential campaign against Nixon during the time of the Vietnam War, “ I’m sick and tired of young men going of to die in wars started by old men in suits sitting in air-conditioned offices.” I don’t think I have heard any truer words spoken.
I constantly think of previous generations versus our generation. Although they are close in comparison I feel we have just a hard enough time, maybe even worse than they had to deal with. Not only do we have to live with the mistakes of their time, but we have to deal with our own problems which I’m sure they would struggle with too. So you remember that the next time an older person rags on you about being young, that they need us more as much as we need them.