Getting older

November 17, 2012 · Posted in Personal stuff 

I’m just not so much into the political thing today, and what I originally thought I would write about can wait until tomorrow without much worry.

Today I finally reached that milestone in life which most of us who are older have to face: I now have to wear bifocal glasses. (Actually, these are considered ‘progressive’ lenses, but since they haven’t taxed me or tried to take away my freedom I’ll just consider them bifocals.) When I went in for my long-overdue eye exam last week I was told I now suffer from presbyopia, which is the inability for the eye to focus on nearby objects. That sort of explained why I would have to take off my glasses to read my phone.

But this life event just made me consider that my time in the sun is rapidly passing by. Obviously I hope to have a lot of productive years ahead of me, but as a generation our time for agitation for change is dwindling fast. Many of us have seem our children grow up into young adulthood, and the world which was like the long highway stretched out limitless in front of us is now a lot shorter and quite small as seen from our rear-view mirror. It’s now our children who have the boundless vista before them.

Ever since I came to know about the writings of Newt Gingrich, I’ve tried to set my line of thinking to where we can be and what can be done about getting there in a timeframe that’s several years ahead. Most politicians have the myopia to only see to the next election, but those who are smart try to think decades down the road. I’m no politician, but my book So We May Breathe Free: Avoiding Ineptocracy is truly intended for those of my daughter’s generation; those who just came off the entrance ramp and see the vast highway before them.

Yet what have we left them to face? Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2006, you’d know that the days of 4% unemployment, manageable inflation, and the concept of borrowing against home equity are long gone. People who once had good, full-time careers are now struggling just to make it on a couple part-time gigs; meanwhile, the skills and ambitions they once had are in a race to see which will dry up faster.

Obviously not all is bleak, as our kids also inherit a world filled with promise on a number of fronts as life has been made far easier on them in a number of respects. Yet the younger generation recently voted to make things harder for themselves and less bearable for those in my generation. I still can’t figure out how all these signs can be missed; the one thing I do know is that all of us will have to live with the results. Those few things I’ve been able to glean from my daughter lead me to believe that some of the scare tactics tossed out by the incumbent’s campaign worked on her.

To be quite honest, there is the possibility that conservatives have it all wrong and that freedom isn’t something most strive for. After all, life is much easier when all your decisions are made for you.

But the problem with limiting risks is that rewards are limited as well. If you can succeed in life, but only as far as an outside source will allow it to happen, then you are not truly free. Those who sired my generation were wise enough to at least make a couple efforts to increase our freedom, but in the end the results were mere speed bumps on this ‘Thelma & Louise’ final stand we’re careening on. My fear is that, if we don’t do something about our government, sometime during the ascension of this generation we’re going over the cliff.

Hollywood stopped the movie in midflight, but in reality we’re going to hit bottom and when that crash comes it won’t be pretty.


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