This past week, I happened to anger an older co-worker of mine, someone in his late 40s. When he was in full tirade mode, I warned him to relax and that it wasn’t the end of the world.
“Oh you say that now, but wait until you get older!” he cautioned. He said that life sure gets hard when we have kids and must pay the mortgage. I’m pretty sure the term “whippersnapper” was muttered more than once.
Then I got to thinking: What did our parents have to contend with? Amazing changes in technology and those fragile few years where birth control was easily accessible and there weren’t as many widespread STDs. Some even got to witness the hippie age and some of the most dramatic social changes in our nation’s history. Times were simpler and life was good. Sure there were a few bumps in the road but nothing too threatening.
There was nothing along the lines of looming environmental and fiscal disaster.
We whippersnappers don’t have it as easy at it appears. In fact, if you consider certain predictions, we’re all going to be deaf and broke with brain cancer, struggling to survive on a landless earth. I’ll explain.
How are we going to be deaf? Just consider all of the warnings of MP3 players that have been released recently. Due to the popularity of these MP3 players and the frequency young people listen to them, we are being told that we are destined to be a generation of hearing loss. I can see it now: the conversation taking place in line for Social Security checks in 2060 will consist of a lot of people going “Huh” and “What did you say?” This is all assuming that Social Security will be rescued from bankruptcy.
At least we are the generation of the information age – an age where distance means nothing and cell phones deliver us instantaneous communication. But if all of the naysayers are correct, those who use cell phones will eventually succumb to brain cancer. So if your parents ever yell at you for the phone bill, tell them that you are probably doomed for brain cancer anyway, so what harm can a few hundred text messages do?
Look on the bright side: We are living in one of the richest, most powerful nations on the planet. No economy can rival ours, and America is sure to prosper through the rest of our lives …until you look at recent newspaper headlines. President George W. Bush recently signed a law raising the debt limit to $8.965 trillion.
On top of that, we all are personally responsible for $28,000 of the government’s current debt of $8.3 trillion. That means no prosperity for us. We’ll mostly likely spend a great deal of time paying back all that money. Money we owe to foreign nations that can call in their dues whenever they wish.
But with living in today’s age comes new advances in medical technology. We will all get the thrill of living longer, fuller lives on this great planet of ours. But then again, the planet’s ice caps are melting at an alarming rate putting all of the coasts at risk for flash flooding. And, if you believe bad Hollywood movies, we will be forced down south into Mexico due to the sudden Ice Age that ensues.
I suppose we just can’t win. According to many news reports and scientists, it seems situations aren’t going to get better anytime soon. But cheer up, the world is what we make of it. Are we all going to be deaf, cancerous and broke? I doubt it.
But just in case the coast does flood the entire Eastern Seaboard, don’t bother looking for me. I’ll be the one hiding under a table somewhere listening to my obnoxiously loud music with a cell phone duct taped to my head. I may also be rambling incoherently about Social Security.
Sean Blanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.