Carry That Weight

Every generation that comes into its own does so with the belief that the preceeding generations did not quite know what they were doing.  They did what they did that got everyone up to this point – but the new young adults are the ones that are going to change the world. 

It is also said that any family owned business is at risk of failure if not in the second generation, the third.  The reason?  Those who step into something already built have no idea what it took to get there.  Thus, they rest on their (or someone else’s) laurels and the company fails.  In short – they just don’t know what they have.

If I were to combine those to thoughts, I find myself smiling a half smile and thinking to myself, “Could it be that black and white?”  Is what we are seeing in the world today the product of youth taking the world by storm because they know better what the world needs – but have absolutely no clue how they got here?

I also read somewhere years ago in a book about near death experiences that there is no such thing as reincarnation – rather we each hold the memories of experiences of our ancestors in our DNA.  So each of us carry the DNA of those who came before us.  That is where the memories of our families are stored.  That could very well explain the dilemma we face when we look at people protesting about slavery and slave owners and reparations being owed.  They may not have experienced being slaves.  But somewhere along the line, they have that experience imprinted in their DNA.  They cannot shake it.

I find it amazing the clarity that comes with age.  Things that “broke” me as a child or even as a young adult do not come close to phasing me now.  Conversely, things I barely noticed in my youth move me to tears now.  It is as if someone is focusing my lens of the world and I can see what I never saw before.

The youth of today, while many acting destructively and foolishly (some even violently) are where they are because of those who came before them.  We, the adults, have failed to bring them along and nurture them sufficiently so that they have an understanding of what changes are needed.  Sure, we may have raised a family of our own and they may be ‘fine’ for all intent and purpose – but when we fail to extend ourselves beyond our own nucleus of a family, lines are drawn.  I believe we are witnessing the result – or the aftermath of that separation.

In my lifetime, I grew up without a father in the home.  Considering the state my father was in mentally, that was probably a blessing in disguise.  But I felt the absence and carry that to this day.  I was not the norm back in my childhood.  Most of my friends came from two parent homes.  The exception was because of an early death, not abandonment or dysfunction.  That is not to say there were not some dysfunctional parents in my group of friends.  My inference is that good or bad, there were two where I had one.  As I grew to raise a family of my own and looked around, single parent homes were more the norm.  Not a desired norm; an acceptable norm. 

The family my husband and I raised were a combination family; yours, mine and ours.  I still chuckle when I remember the most angry I ever saw my husband was the evening one of the kids came home with an assignment to draw their family tree.  One sheet of paper was not going to suffice and my husband was not having this illustration of our choices being strung up in front of a classroom of children; this despite the fact that we had inflicted our choices on our own.  Fine that we chose to do this.  Not acceptable that we document it.

So we watch the news and we see the protests; the mob mentality, the anger from kids so young they have no knowledge of the world as we know it.  Yet, they have just enough rage inside them that they are unable to contain it.  It didn’t fall from the sky.  It was passed to them like a baton in a relay race.  We watch them in angst and think, “You’re throwing the baton away before you get to the finish line!  You’re going to lose.”  All they know is that someone shoved this baton in their hand and told them to run with it – and they won’t have it.

It must stop somewhere!  The inequality, the pain, the politics.  At some point, it has to end.  Are they carrying ours and everyone’s pain who have come before us or are they refusing to take another step in pain?

If I had all the answers, I’d be sharing them – you can bet on it.  And I believe if any of us had the answers the world would not be in the state it is in.  I, for one, would like to keep the lines of communication open so that we can remind (like bumper rails in a bowling alley) what happens when you do this or that while they explore options in this new world they are trying to create.  But this morning I have awaken to the absolute delight that the youth of today are going to show us a new path – and I can’t wait to see what they come up with!


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