Young and Old

Hey Seniors, if you ever get a chance to spend some quality time with young people I would recommend that you do so. Most of us elders forget what it was like when we were in our teens and twenties. We think we remember, but when it comes right down to it, we don’t. We remember the essence of being young, but not the specifics and the particularity. Our imaginations remember better than what it is in reality.

I was a teenager in the mid-50’s. The time of James Dean, the actor not the singer. The time of Elvis, hotrods, fallout shelters, Yankees dominating the American League pennant race, Black Jack gum, Howdy Dowdy, Glass soda pop bottles, fifty-cent movies. Captain Video, I love Lucy and cigarette ads all over the television, magazines, and newspapers, Ed Sullivan on Sunday night TV and Edward R. Murrow on CBS.

We had our wars too. Korea was prominent, but the death and dying of American troops were not. It was just as tragic as today and numerous, but we didn’t know about it for weeks or months. The media’s technology had not yet developed enough to share instantaneous information.

Today’s teens know who their entertainment and social heroes are, and they are environmentally aware, and most young diligently recycle. Their cognitive powers are far more advanced than mine was as a teenager.

They are conscious of their sugar intake, and they have heaps of information from computers and iPods available to them to augment their interests, amplify their studies and their hopes and wishes.

Margaret Mead, the noted anthropologist, recommended that the old and the young spend time together. She posited that time together encourages each to acknowledge the other in themselves. She concluded it forms a new agreement between generations.

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