Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Peace and love

I was chatting with one of my neighbors yesterday afternoon, and he brought up an interesting point.

Somewhere way back, when I was still living in Washington, young people took over.

I mean, not me (I was still young then), but people who magically started making lots of money without "climbing the ladder."

Is this bad? Is that the root of all our problems?

Paying ones dues leads to a thought process that a younger person may not have yet achieved.

All of the people in my family (except me and my brother) have worked their way up to the income level that they currently enjoy. My brother and I are just hopeless.

Anyway, my neighbor told me that his 28-year-old son is making money hand-over-fist down on Wall Street. In a way, I guess, it bothers him on some level (or he wouldn't have brought it up, would he?).

I keep looking and listening to all the people - all under 40, as pointed out on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this very morning - talking about politics and the economy. And I wonder, "Do I trust them?"

They have no historical context.

Take William Ayers, the 60s radical.

I lived on a farm in Michigan, hardly a hotbed of political strife, when Ayers and the Weather Underground were doing their dirty deeds.

But still, I don't care about William Ayers. Most people don't, it would appear.

It seems outrageous now, but back then - well, things were different. For one thing, as my neighbor pointed out, there was a real generation gap then. "Old people" were in charge, and they didn't think like we thought.

Nowadays there are no war protests on TV, young people pouring out into the streets, and no widespread race riots. Parents are "hip." (Although I have to say, my parents were pretty hip.)

It was different. As former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (38 years old) pointed out on TV this morning, he has never really suffered any particular hardship because of his race. I wish I could say that.

It's hard to explain, but we are poised on the edge right now. It's important, because it's what all those 60s radicals (and people like me) wanted way back then: peace and love.

Prosperity is not owed us - it's what we work for.

1 comment:

Sarah Swart said...

Hear hear.