I’ve spent the last few weeks focusing on my job out in the world and have come to realize just how much blame people put on the younger generations for the woes of not only their own lives but the demise of our country and its’ values. It’s us, the boomers, that should be taking a good long look in the mirror. When is enough enough? Really people? Do you have to build that bigger house, drive the BMW or have a fat assed bank account to “be” somebody? I’m kind of sick of being labeled myself, so I’ve spent some time figuring out just what matters most to me. You want to know what I’ve discovered? Read on…
I’ve discovered that I love the quiet life that my husband and I sought out after the loss of our daughter. I love the simplicity of a small and older home. I love the absence of social media in my everyday life. I love the crickets and cicadas and insects that make a symphony in the heat of a hot summer night. I love stripping away all the noise and chaos and clatter to find the peace underneath it all. I love the idea of spending physical time with those I love. Life isn’t supposed to be lived behind the keyboard in the corner of a home office, so I’ve left that home office alone for a few weeks. I have made a conscious effort to be more engaged with face to face relations and it pays off in ways that having 500 plus friends on Facebook could ever do. I don’t know 500 people, and I have spent several weeks this summer thinning out my Facebook. I’ve decided that if there is no interaction between me and whomever, I just unfriend them. Does this mean I care less about them? Not at all! It means I care more about myself and taking away the wondering why factor is good for my mental health.
We are the ones that shake our heads as our younger generations put their private matters out there for the world to see, but do we set the example for them to not do that? Even the president throws temper tantrums online and the world at large encourages him to keep on doing so. WTF people? Here’s an office that has lost all its respect for the people it’s supposed to serve and we revel in that type of behavior? What happened to loving your neighbor? What happened to talking things out instead of blasting someone on social media for the whole world to see? Where has personal responsibility gone? I’m not a fan of most social media platforms, and as I grow older, I find that to be truer every day. I watch young couples fight via Instagram, FB, text, and Snapchat, but then ignore one another in person. Who taught them that this is okay? Or maybe the issue is we didn’t teach them anything… Is this possible? Did we hand them a screen while we were in the grocery store and teach them that looking down at it is acceptable? Did we, as adults, teach them that NOT engaging face to face is the “right” way? Do we continue to send messages of ignoring and neglecting them via screen time? I feel like the demise of so many relationships is not “their” fault, it’s ours. Of course, we could not have known that technology would become a substitute for parenting, but now that we do, are we doing anything to improve and change things?
We are the ones that can and should make the changes in society that we want to see. You know the phrase “be the change?” That’s where I am currently living. As I have been for over two years now. I am more aware of the need for change than I have ever been, and I am trying to make a change within myself. I am not suggesting that social media is to blame for all of the woes we experience, not by a long shot, but I do believe that it can exacerbate things. It’s easier to hide in front of a screen that it is to meet face to face. Why not make a small change in yourself that has the potential to lead to bigger and better things? Why not teach a 20 something that putting personal affairs on the internet can potentially harm them in ways that we didn’t understand back when we were 20 something? Why not be real and authentic in person instead of fake and phony sitting in a Starbucks somewhere? I know that by blogging this I am actually using the platforms that have become a crutch for some, but for me, in this arena, it’s a vessel to change. Self-change. Blogging helps me express myself and gives me things to think about, and I am very deliberate in what I share.
We are the ones that have lived to see the world keep evolving technologically, though some of those changes have hurt us rather than helped us. We are no longer a socially engaged nation in the aspect of being humans, we hide and lie and accept things that my own parents would have been appalled by. I’ve said before how grateful I am that my own Dad passed away before his granddaughter threw away her parents and kept their grandson from them. Her actions would have broken his heart for me, and I would never want my dad to hurt so. I would love to hug him and feel his strength again, but I just couldn’t bear his hurting any more than I could my own. My hurt now has become my strength, it’s crushing effect on my life has made me more determined than ever to give of myself and my heart to those that are experiencing the pain and anguish of losing a child to estrangement, to silence, to suicide. Loss is brutal, and in situations like mine, you have two choices. Fight back, or run. I’ve done both. Though the running stopped months ago, the fighting back never will. I just fight back FOR others, not against them. As a mom who has lost her first child, I am forever broken. As a woman who refuses to let that loss be the defining moment of her life, I say NO. Events can and will define who we were, are and will become, and it hurts like I imagine hell would, but I am still alive. I still look forward to my life. She didn’t take away my joy, though she sure did try. It’s not hers to take, but it is mine to give away and share with others.
We are the ones that should be helping to shape the youth of today for their future tomorrow. Step up, in person, and make a difference. In your neighborhood, city, town, and state. Speak up and out for the future that seems to be fading. Is this really who we are as people? Are we full of hatred for those who are less fortunate? Are we better than someone who has darker skin? Are we “right” and “they’re” wrong? Leaving a legacy of hatred and impatience and bigotry is a sure path to the demise of this nation that was once a haven for those seeking refuge. Now we are the ones that need refuge. We can be a loving and strong society again but have to work at it before it’s too late. No matter what you believe politically, you’re a person. I’m a person. Politics is are NOT who we are, it’s a choice we make. Kindness, love, and compassion exist in each of us to some degree, focus on those traits and give of yourself to help others. Leave the screens at home, shut the phones off, take a walk, go outside and play, do something that is attached to that electronic leash, and love your neighbor.
I don’t know when I’ll write again, and I don’t know when or if I’ll reopen my FB page, but I do know that I am enjoying the absence of it in my everyday life for now. Just as blogging has a place in my life, my life and living it with purpose has a place as well. Be well, friends!!!