Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Greatest Generation

Making comparisons between my and my parents generation aren't easy, not pretty nor particularly comforting. I have heard a number of stories from them regarding sacrifice and why we really had no real family heirlooms. They were farmers and steel workers. The average backbone of American society during the Depression and World War II. They lived their daily lives through the tough times, cut corners when they had to and did what was necessary to help the country prevail through those difficult times. They saved newspapers in bundles, turned over gold and silver items, turned over spare tires and lived through rationing. When times were really tough on the farm and the food bank needed the live stock my Grandmother, a widow herself, made a chicken last for her 6 kids for a week. She baked bread, made chili sauce and her own ketchup, put up preserves and canned vegatables for leaner times. And she sent all her sons off to war. Three of the four returned home though they were wounded but one never returned. Those kids became my uncles and father and carried on the traditions of conservation and preparation for the worst.

Now where are we...? and worse where are our kids? I have only myself to make the comparison to them directly but I see where the rest of our society is going. Let's try an experiment. Let's take the kids to the toy store this season, have them pick out their favorite toy and then buy it. Take the toy over to the Toys for Tots bin or the Salvation Army or what ever help those in need thing that is at the local mall or Superstore and have them drop it in the bin. How much argument do you expect to hear or how much explaining do we have to do. I plan on taking this experiment to my nieces and nephews just to test their character... Wanna play too. Keep an eye out for the results and let's share what happens. I know times are tough for some folk so keep it small, simple and within budget. I'm not talking about a WII of Playstation III just something they really want that you can afford. I have done this before and after the tears there can be some pretty interesting discussions and opportunities to provide history lessons. BTW clean out the closets... there are folks out there that can use the dusty stuff that you don't use, can't sell nor want to keep around anymore.


Janiece Murphy said...

I think I read a statistic recently that volunteerism is higher now in young adults than it's ever been. That gives me hope.

Beastly said...

Janiece it is higher because it is required for completion of high school in most states. I have experienced this in the Rail Museum as a load of teenagers showed up at the museum to fill their cards. Ok says I come on in and do some cleaning of help me with the gardens... well with all the text messaging and gossiping that went on it resulted in an hours worth of my work accomplished by 23 teenagers in the three required hours... Hope huh? Sorry These kids make me cynical.

Janiece Murphy said...

That's too bad. My own experience with kids fulfilling their hours at our local food bank was really good. Focused, hard workers.

Jim Wright said...

These kids make me cynical

No, you were cynical long before these kids came along. Heh, I crack myself up.

This volunteerism to complete high school is new to me. Never heard of it. Something recent? Don't think it exists as a requirement here in Alaska. I'll ask Becky, she'll know.

Jim Wright said...

Urk. Becky said yes, but no. Appears to be a requirement in AK, but the credits don't count towards graduation.