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Monday, April 21, 2014

Intentional Inactivity and Importance of Self-Sufficiency

Today's posting may seem like mere personal venting but I promise there is a grander point that is being made..  Besides, who doesn't enjoy reading others' gripes?

So.. Easter has come and gone.. Yay!

Its not that I feel any negativity specifically about the holiday itself..  Besides, who can ever feel harshly against jellybeans, Cadbury creme eggs and marshmallow Peeps!

I say 'Yay!' because admittedly I'm a most grizzled grizzly bear when it comes to 'family' holidays because that means neighbors spreading out and parking in front of the house..  Grr..

Ahh.. gotta hate neighbors..   Bah humbug!
Oh, wrong holiday..  Well, you get the idea..

The place where yours truly resides, I have neighbors on either side that have seemed to be there forever though in reality its more like a couple decades..

To the right, a family that hasn't spoken a word either at me or my direction since the Bush days, and I'm talking Herbert-Walker Bush..  you know, the Desert Storm President..

To the left, the most phony, disingenuous snake one could have the misfortune to live next to.  He and his wife.. friendly in that prying, snooping, info-gathering way..  The kids.. they look down at their feet when given eye contact.
Not sure which is worse-- living next to someone who makes it clearly known they hate you and wish you'd move, or someone who feels that way yet asks "How's things?" every time they spot you outside cleaning the car or working in the garden?

Anyways, yesterday the phony family chose Easter afternoon as their car washing and detailing day including the cleaning and vacuuming of interior, floor mats, etc..

Not really a big a deal except for one thing that struck me..

The son is 20 years old.. maybe 21..    The daughter is 17..  And yet who is washing and cleaning and vacuuming every car inside and out?

The Dad.
It wasn't my business but admittedly it irritated me as much as their cars being placed in front of my house as soon as each one was clean

Seriously.. a young healthy adult male and a young healthy near adult female could not wash and clean their own G-D cars??   Wouldn't they have been the ones who got their vehicles dirty enough on the inside that a cleaning was even necessary??

And then my mind wondered to the past..

The son goes away to college currently but when he lived there full time, I never once saw him mow his family front lawn without doing it begrudgingly and Dad yelling at him that he kept missing spots.
More rare, was seeing the young man help his Dad collect the autumn leaves and even rarer assist in shoveling their driveway after a snowfall..

As for the daughter?    Absolutely nothing..   On a stack of bibles it can be most confidently sworn that I have never seen the girl pick up so much as a rake, broom or any other light tool used for the purpose of outdoor work..

Never even seen the girl take the trash cans from the house to the curb or back again.. 

Not once Ever!

But you know the type.. she's 17 and pretty and what young male really cares if she can not or will not do anything that resembles work or contribute in any physical task if she has um..other 'assets'?
And then I thought, yes obviously this is a case of a father spoiling his "Princess" but since the son is a lazy layabout too-- and did I mention both children have zero personality or friendliness towards anyone..   

I thought.. is this a case of really bad parenting or is this symbolic of something greater..  

Is this what the Millennial generation is all about?

Sorry to paint such a large brush stroke but it was a reoccurring thought..

Yours truly is not "old" by any stretch of the imagination..  No one who listened to 'Nirvana' can ever be 'old'..  And yet..
I've rarely encountered someone in their early 20s or younger that wasn't completely aloof, detached and with face deeply buried in their texting device;  Someone who had little to nothing to say..  Even less passion or anger about anything..   

It was collectively like this generation of the 2008 crash were content do work 2-3 menial jobs to get by, get into sickening college debt without the slightest clue or concern how to ever pay it back, and a general belief all would work out OK in the end because others would take care of it..

And take care of them..

They had two mommies and daddies..  Their real ones and government.
And in a way, who can say these lost souls are mistaken...

When the Dow dropped precipitously, wasn't it government i.e. the Fed that stepped in with Trillion in cash injections to buoy up that evil rotten Dow by 200% in 5 years from its March '09 low?

And when millions and millions can't find work and no one is either hiring or paying fair & living wages, isn't it government that steps in and extends unemployment insurance again and again...   Much easier than creating jobs or forcing private business to raise salary, yes?

And when people were genuinely scared back in the autumn of '08, like a parent caressing a toddler who had a bad dream, didn't government do a good job distracting the people from reality with promises that everything would be OK while endless amusement and diversions swirled around?
Of course people forget how quickly government stepped into the rescue during Hurricane Katrina..  Well not if you actually lived through it-- then you don't forget.  

But when it happens from afar and one is following all the latest developments from the comfort of the good ole' lay-z-boy, its much easier to remember who was to blame for political posture then how genuinely dangerous and scary it was to live day to day through it..

So back to those two nincompoop neighbor kids...

I wonder if either of them after 12+ years of public education and over protective parenting, could really ever survive on their own in an emergency...  Even a brief one..
I wonder if either person knows how to cook and prepare food or clean clothing..  Hell, I wonder if either kid knows how to use a stove or washing machine when the power is on?!

Or maybe they do but why bother... Mom will cook and clean.. That's what moms are Supposed to do, ehh?  

Its a bit scary when you think that each of us has attended the public school system K-12 for 2,340 days and for the most part are clueless how to survive, cope and protect ourselves and loved ones if the government apparatus crumbles even for a couple days (hurricane, power loss, etc..)

Its hard for me to have any identity or connection to those neighbor kids much less anyone else of that generation or any other who can not do for themselves or utterly unwilling to attempt..
Yours truly has been self-sufficient for more years than I care to remember, and not in a log-cabin or extremist bunker in middle of nowhere-ville kinda' way..

Cook, vacuum, sew, iron..  cleaning and maintaining things indoors.. outdoors.. the vehicle..  Nothing worthy of a badge or medal pinned to chest but still for the most part self-sufficient.

Does that make me better than my neighbors' kids and others who don't even make the attempt to do without others?

Actually.. Yes.