Thursday, September 09, 2010

The First Time – Part 1

The first time you experience something is often memorable, but do you recall that the anticipation leading up to the first time was probably more powerful than the experience itself? A number of firsts come quickly to mind…the first time I went solo on a bicycle was one of them, the first time the shop teacher smacked me was another. However, once smacked, the sense of anticipation was gone in an instant and the lesson learned was to tread more carefully to avoid a repeat of the event.

There was the first girl, the first varsity game, the first graduation ceremony, the first flight, the first voyage, the first car, the first job, the first wife, the first child, the first house, the first lawsuit, the first loss of a parent, the first near death experience, and so on. None of those firsts really required much more than doing it. The underlying thought is that life seems to have been a succession of firsts, each one possessing its own period of anticipation.

A more recent first was when I realized that the younger ones now out numbered us. I couldn’t say when it occurred…but I recall a 1993 Wall Street Journal opinion piece entitled something like, “Are There Any Adults in Charge?” The newly elected Clinton regime was derelict in the collection of security information from its young staff of 30-somethings and the FBI was growing uneasy with them. We know how that regime ended…he was impeached. And our parents who had been the adults for so long, faded.

While we and the older adults were numerous enough, the foolishness of our younger demographics was kept in tow, but it’s different now. I am amazed at how little those in responsible positions know vs. how much they think they know. But they outnumber us now, so you can’t suggest anything to them with which you might have had some experience. They don’t give a shit. Maybe all generations go through this kind of first…I don’t know, it’s the first time I’ve encountered it. The only real thing missing from the experience was that I lacked any anticipation of it…I was too busy raising and educating a family while the turnover was going on.

Hopefully enough of the younger generations will understand that if you choose clowns for your responsible positions, you can rightly expect to get a circus. I would have thought they had already experienced that first.  Oh yes, there was that first turn over the bridge into Camden (top picture)...never did that one again--scary place.


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