A Generational Difference

Most people living today have no idea what real suffering is

By Roger Kauser

I have been thinking about the difference between our generation and the most recent ones. I think the answer lies in history. We were raised by the Greatest Generation. These hardened, but gentle, souls were raised during the Depression years, followed by the harsh years of WWII.  

I recall a particular cabinet on my grandfather’s farm. In it, were so many treasures … a can full of buttons, carefully folded sections of brown paper bags, balls of twine, an assortment of pins, needles, a coffee can of nuts and bolts, and broken things deemed too valuable to discard. These folks worked hard to make a living during tough times and they threw nothing away!  

The war ended and with it came an age of unprecedented scientific marvels and affluence resulting from our victory in the war. After so many years of hardship in the 1930s and 1940s, the generation of our parents wanted a return to a more normal life. Along came the 1950s, and the Baby Boomers. Our parents unknowingly created a post war generation of carefree children whose lives were filled with new bicycles, games, slot cars, scooters, and dolls that talked. These were things our parents had only dreamed about and they were delighted that we had these items for enjoyment, but denied to them.

The decades passed and new generations arrived one after another. The hardships of the past were soon forgotten, and each subsequent generation became more self-centered and their sense of entitlement grew. And here we are today, 80 years later, living in a world so far removed from that of our grandparents. Most people living today have no idea what real suffering is. Not having the latest flat screen TV is cause for multiple trips to a therapist. Having a child is a burden, and there is a pill or drug that fixes just about any type of sadness.

Roger Kauser