A War Nobody Wins

When you approach middle age, you find yourself in this interesting position where you still have a lot to learn (and I mean a lot), and yet you’ve lived and experienced enough to have some kind of wisdom to impart.

You might even also be a parent.

It got me thinking about generational war and how, quite frankly, stupid it is.

For example, everybody seems to dump on Millennials and Boomers, with Gen X somehow avoiding a lot of hate. I’ve written before how Millennials are victims of systems set up before they were even born—as all generations are, really—and deserve sympathy more than anything. Maybe they even deserve, dare I say it, help?

You see, legacies are both personal and societal. What kind of legacy you leave for your children spills over, of course, into the kind of legacy your entire generation leaves for the next one.

The young always clash with the old. But usually there’s some kind of reconciliation as the old realizes that they, too, were once young and prone to mistakes—as well as exuberant flashes of brilliance—and the young realize that their parents and grandparents were right about a lot of things and just wanted what was best for them.

Based on my observations, this war/reconciliation cycle seems to have been skewed at some point (sigh) in the 1960s. It’s not like all young people of that era hates their parents, but completely rejected them and their values enough to affect society as a whole. Remember: you only really need 10 percent to start a movement.

Anyway, the funny thing is that the Gen Z/Generation Edgers seem to share a lot in common with the Silent Generation…if you buy the Strauss-Howe theory where generations cycle. I myself need to read their book before I form an opinion either way.

What I’m getting at is that I think generational warfare is stupid and counterproductive. And I’m not just talking about the young. Us older folks do it too and we should to stop it. Continue reading “A War Nobody Wins”

Names and Legacies

Children's movies can sometimes present a purer message than fare aimed at adults, if you can call superhero movies, hyper-vulgar comedies, and blood-splattered action-fests "adult."

It strikes me that kids' movies, the good ones at least, have to make their message accessible and understandable while keeping the movie actually entertainingthat things like craftsmanship and universal themes and even good scriptwriting.

Shocking, outdated concepts, I know.

Anyway, I took my son to see Cars 3recently, and I was not expecting to see a treatise about aging and legacies from a movie about anthropomorphic vehicles, but I did. I know Pixar is known for high-quality children's entertainment, but still: what an interesting time to be alive.

But stories tell us things in a way that the mere recitation of facts can never hope to match, and the movie stuck with me.

So with legacies on the mind, I started to think about my own, and what I hope to leave behind for my son, any future children I hopefully have, and their children and grandchildren.

I started thinking about names and a question came to mind, or more appropriately, a theme:

Is it better to be unique–like everyone else claims to be? Or is it better to be meaningful? Continue reading “Names and Legacies”