Your Real Daddy Was Dyin'... But I'm Glad We Talked

Is it not enough to love the world?

Is it not enough to be content with one's self?

Can we not subsist on our own dreams and the manifestations, for better or otherwise, thereof?

We have been given, told, sold and shouldered with a lifetime of middle-class, white-bread, generation-old expectations that tell us that we should want the things that our parents and grandparents had.

The truth is that our grandparents were simply glad to have survived the first half of the last century and our parents were so entitled as a generation to never know to want something else.

Mine is the first generation never to be told that we will do better than the generation before, that we cannot expect to make more money or live in a better world than that left by our fathers. We have inherited responsibility, expectation and guilt without being given promise or purpose and we've not bothered to speak up.

We need not struggle for salary and success. We should not have to prove ourselves to a power structure that keeps aging but not dying. Our desires, our ambitions, our plans should not have to be passed over and approved, but we keep finding that this is the case, nonetheless.

By virtue of this moment in history, the time when the largest, vainest and most entitled generation ever born, the generation that birthed us, grows old in step with constantly extending possibilities of human life expectancy, we will be left with nothing but scraps and vinegar from a table that should long have been abandoned, cleared and reset.

Why do we not get the chance to remake the world in our own image? Why do we not get to define the terms of our own adulthood? Why does the moment when we assume never seem to come to pass, not in terms of authority, not in terms of creativity, not in terms of generational significance? Why do we always seem to answer to those older or younger than we but never to ourselves?

We are the generation that will never inherit and we should be much more pissed about it than we are.


nursemyra said...

Time to make your own "inheritance"?

peony said...

As a member of that "vainest and most entitled generation ever born" I have a few things to say...

We DID struggle for salary and success, especially women who have still not reached parity.

We DID have to prove ourselves.

Our desires, our ambitions, our plans WERE stymied and put on hold just like you--for another generation still in power.

You WILL get the chance to remake the world--you'll see the tide begin to change over the next decade, but only if your generation steps up NOW. Steps up to vote, to run for office, to gain as much education as you can, to work instead of whine.

The time is coming when you WILL inherit--inherit our mistakes and successes just as we did from earlier generations. Be ready--it's one hell of a responsibility and much harder and more heartbreaking than it looks.
I know nothing was handed to you, personally, on a silver platter; that you've worked already more than half your life. Generation after generation the takeover happens when the next one is between 35-45 (at least in 20th & 21st century life as we have lived longer) so your time is coming, faster than you think. I, for one, will be happy to abdicate.