I’m considered a senior citizen when it comes to discounts. That makes me double blessed: I’ve lived this long, and I get things a little cheaper. I look for blessings wherever I can find them.
Some days I feel like I’ve lived too long. I was born during the days when everyone knew who they were; I’ve lived until no one knows who or what they are. I grew up when there were men’s jobs and women’s jobs; I’ve lived until a time when some people don’t know whether they are men or women. That’s a lot to process during one lifetime.
A lot of changes have been beneficial. In the far reaches of my memories, I remember seeing Whites Only water fountains. I started school in a white-only classroom. Happily, both of those have been squashed under the heel of equality of all people. By the time I was in fourth grade, we had a mix of races in the classrooms. I didn’t mind it at all. I played with a lot of really nice kids whose skin was darker than mine.
Over my life, the line between men’s and women’s jobs has disappeared. That line was starting to fade when I got out of high school, but the push for girls to only be teachers, secretaries, or nurses was still pretty strong. I was no ground-breaker so I didn’t question the trend. I’m thrilled that my daughter and others like her were free to choose whatever they wanted to do.
I lived through the Civil Rights movement, the Viet Nam era, Watergate, three major assassinations, and all the turmoil those events brought with them. I remember being afraid the country would fall apart, or Russia would send over its atomic bombs. I remember the joy when the wars ended and the happy disbelief when the Berlin wall came down.
I’m a product of an older time when we grew wiser as we aged. Things we did in childhood were cast off, and we became more mature adults (I Cor. 13:11). I did things in my youth that, looking back, were wrong. I regret them, and I learned from it and corrected my behavior. As I’ve aged, I’ve become a kinder, gentler, and more loving person. It’s a good way to walk on this journey.
But I can’t figure out what’s going on now. Finding things to be offended about is the new national pastime. It makes people feel important and righteous, I guess. Everything is subject to microscopic examination by people who have no idea what’s in your heart. When someone brags about their sexual preferences, I want to scream TMI, TMI! Raising genderless babies…I don’t get that at all.
I’m afraid again because it feels like the country is falling apart. I like many of the old ways much better. I miss the days when people cared for each other, helped their neighbors, and built up their communities so that everyone benefitted. The young generations don’t know what they missed.