When I was in my teen years back in the good ol’ Eisenhower days when our motto was “I like Ike” and rock ’n’ roll was in its infancy, a new era had just begun, the era of the baby boomers: The dawning of the new age where the counter culture rebelled against the establishment.
There was a song sung by Peter, Paul and Mary back in 1964 called “The Times They A-Changin’.” There is a stanza that is most appropriate for the upcoming election:
Come senators, congressmen please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it’s ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a' changin’.
The philosophical pessimism of senior citizens of that day, negative as they were of the future outcome of this world becoming morally depraved, saw their hope of a better world slipping away. Philosophical pessimists see the self-awareness of man as bound up with his mindfulness of the times and that this leads to a greater mental suffering than of mere physical pain.
Just as our grandparents lamented over the transition of their societies and the 60s boomers morphing into a new generation of anti-establishment nontraditional civilization; so too this lament will happen to the boomers as the millennials continue to establish their own thoughts about their laws, culture and society.
We humans can contemplate the past and the future, and as such having foreknowledge of our own eventual fate has brought us to a point of knowing that the short-lived nature of life is to realize that the only thing that is constant is change. It will come to pass this grandparent will see the millennials as the movers and doers in a new era and we seniors also will lament as they decry the ways of our generation for we also see as did our forefathers before us that those ways we learned throughout history are not the ways of the millennials.
Here are just two things that have shaped the millennials: the rise of technology and social networks. Astrophysicists such as Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow are proclaiming general relativity and quantum theory as the basis for evolution debunking divinity and church doctrine.
Already the millennials have made in roads on defining what their reality consists of and the results; the laws of the land now include smoking certain plants as legal. The word “sin” has no relevance. Certain religious beliefs concerning what defines marriage have changed to include homosexual and heterosexual behaviors in the name of equality. Hedonism, self-indulgence and self-satisfaction are the life styles of choice. The Atlantic magazine calls the era of the millennials the worst era of any time period.
However, Time magazine writes: “Millennials: the Me Me Me Generation, ‘which called millennials lazy, entitled, self-obsessed narcissists’” and on the other hand, they have been called open-minded, liberal, self-expressive, upbeat, and clearly passionate about equality. But the truth is, both arguments hold some grounds for belief. The reality must fall somewhere in between.”
In this election cycle the millennials, who outnumber the boomers, will have a great effect, if they vote, on the outcome of this election. My concern is do these “30 some-year-olds” truly understand what each candidate espouses. I doubt it. There will be a great lament for half of the voting public no matter which way the vote goes.