Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. There Is Hope

 

I will be the first to admit, I easily become very gloom and doom when looking at the state of our nation, especially when I talk about Millennials and Generation Z. I know young people get a bad rep – and to be fair – they deserve it. Seeing as I am technically on the older end of these self-described “woke” generations apparently wiser than their forebears, I can call it as I see it.

They are the first generations since our nation’s inception to protest for their rights to be taken away, who see kneeling during the anthem as a productive avenue for change, and are so emotionally weak they utilize university-sponsored coloring pages, cry-ins, and safe spaces to protect them from words they don’t like.

Since less than a third of Millennials say the United States is the greatest country in the world and in need of drastic change, they gather in droves to support a “new” system of government; a system already responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people.

Want responsible employees? Don’t hire a Millennial. As the least engaged generation in the workforce, you can count on Millennials and Gen Z to call in sick more than their older co-workers. They also value “paid vacation time [as] their top priority”, double the previous generations. (How else will they find time to Instagram all their activism?)

You see what I mean.

Are we doomed as a society? Have respect, responsibility, and a basic understanding of history been completely lost on the Me Me Me Generations? Do they realize just how fortunate they are to live in this place and at this time?

One evening I was at the local high school practicing my swings. Being new to the game of tennis I was a tad embarrassed when I saw three teenagers playing a few courts away. As I awkwardly competed against the wall, oftentimes losing, I felt a little out of place with the boys half my age nearby, who obviously knew what they were doing.

The football field close by had a frenzy of activity: football practice, lots of coaches, pump-up music. Then out of nowhere a young man (with a fantastic voice by the way) started to sing the national anthem over the loudspeaker. I was getting into my groove, in the middle of a decent rally when I turned towards the sound. My conscience told me to stop and pay my respects to the flag and what it represented, even right there in the middle of the tennis court. This was something I’d seen my husband do since we met: driving in a car, at a game, in our home. But I was annoyed. I picked up another ball and kept with my game.

No one is watching me, it’s not a real event, they’re just practicing the anthem – it doesn’t really count!

About six seconds later guilt crept in as I remembered that barely a week prior, my husband and I took our young children to visit a Veteran’s Cemetery to honor Memorial Day. I shed tears walking through the quiet gravesite, taking notice of headstones for those that died young – and those that had no name. My mind also recalled that the 75th anniversary of D-Day was that very day, and I left my husband watching the televised commemoration for a most-deserving tribute to what I agree, is indeed, “The Greatest Generation.”

Ooook, I thought, those guys jumped out of ships and planes into gunfire and mortar, crawled over the bodies of their buddies towards what was almost certain death…I can stop for two minutes to show some gratitude.

So I did. Standing erect I fixed my eyes to the back of the bleachers because, if I’m being honest, I wanted to avoid eye contact with the high schoolers to my left; I was embarrassed.

Anxious, I waited for the song to hurry up and finish (I know, I’m swell) when my eyes veered to the side. Then I saw it.

All three boys were standing still, poised and composed looking towards the field, right hands over their hearts. My heart swelled – with 40% shame and 60% gratitude. No one was watching them. It was not a real event. They were only practicing the anthem. It didn’t really count.

Except it did.

Our country is not lost. There are young people who get it, whose parents have taught them about the flag, and the many, many, who have sacrificed. Young people who understand how blessed they are to live in this amazing nation, who understand and value freedom. And that gives me hope.

What You Can Do

  • Educate yourself on the history, especially the founding of our nation. Here are some great places to start: Hillsdale College, PragerU, Learn Our History, Drive Thru History Adventures.
  • Educate your children on American history. Time spent on social studies and history is getting squeezed out by other subjects, don’t depend on schools to teach it; incorporate it in your homes through books, movies, museums, and memorials.
  • Mentor youth in anyway you can. Sports teams, scouts, church, kids in your neighborhood; be a positive influence and find opportunities to express why you’re grateful for this nation.
  • Share on social media why you love this country.

Crossposted here.

Published in Culture
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  1. Jon1979 Lincoln

    If you’re a Boomer, from that wider-than-it-should-have-been demographic of people born between 1946 and 1964, you’re probably old enough to remember that half a century ago you were the generation that was supposed to turn America into a progressive paradise. The media of the day extrapolated out from both the anti-Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement and was pushing the theme that the wave of young new voters, especially after 18-year-olds were granted the right to vote prior to the 1972 election, would use their power to help elect a wave of Democrats that would make LBJs 1964 landslide look like a pebble rolling down a hill by comparison. But we fell short by a hair of President McGovern, Carter was considered the most conservative Democrat in ’76 and then Reagan was elected.

    Fast forward to 2019, and one of the things about the ‘OK Boomer’ movement is it’s based on the idea of when are all these reactionary geezers going to die? Progressive millennials and Gen Zers are especially subject to that type of angry snark, since they blame the Boomers for Trump being in office in the first place.

    If the majority of the Boomers ever were as progressive as the media made them out to be in the late 1960s and early ’70s, they aged out of it, though it’s more likely they never were as progressive as portrayed by the media, who were essentially seeing what they wanted to see from the group and using the most activist members of the first wave of Boomers to claim they represented everybody. So the question today is whether the media of 2019 is doing the same thing the media of 1969 did, and seeing what they want to see in the younger generations and declaring the most activist progressives among the millennial and Gen Z groups to represent all millennials and Gen Zers? Or are those two generations not going to shift right as they age and start dealing with more and more adult responsibilities?

    • #1
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:10 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A tremendous post. And, as you say, a very encouraging incident.

    • #2
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:20 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Blondie Thatcher

    Nice post. PCU came out in 1994 and seems more relevant today than back then. I have to say my interaction with people younger than 35 gives me hope. The ones I know are more family focused, church going, and conservative in how they lead their lives than my “boomer” friends. Some have a good basis of history and civics, others not so much. I’m doing my part with my 16 year old nieces and the young folks at work. I pass along good books or history podcasts when I can.

    • #3
    • December 7, 2019, at 3:17 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I am on the older end of Gen-X and what disappoints me the most about Gen-Y and Gen-Z is they are willing fascists. When I was coming of age (and still), my inclination was to resist the majority, fight authority, and fight for the little guy. These newer generations seem to enthusiastically embrace the power of government and the strongest voices of cancel culture. They are willing drones in a sea of compliance. What happened to “stick it the man”? Where is the music like “Authority Song” and “Were Not Gonna Take It” or even “Fight For Your Right, to Party“? America was built on rebellion, it is (was) in our DNA. I’m disappointed.

    • #4
    • December 7, 2019, at 12:18 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Much of the damage is being done by our universities, dominated as they are by Postmodernist radicals. I suspect the students with their hands over their hearts were in high school, not a university. Sadly, our primary and high school teachers reflect this indoctrination in their teaching.

    • #5
    • December 8, 2019, at 11:05 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I still say too much “Barney” and not enough “Jonny Quest.”

    Great post, Ajalon. Welcome to Ricochet!

    • #6
    • December 9, 2019, at 5:59 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Ajalon J. Stapley Inactive
    Ajalon J. Stapley

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    If you’re a Boomer, from that wider-than-it-should-have-been demographic of people born between 1946 and 1964, you’re probably old enough to remember that half a century ago you were the generation that was supposed to turn America into a progressive paradise. The media of the day extrapolated out from both the anti-Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement and was pushing the theme that the wave of young new voters, especially after 18-year-olds were granted the right to vote prior to the 1972 election, would use their power to help elect a wave of Democrats that would make LBJs 1964 landslide look like a pebble rolling down a hill by comparison. But we fell short by a hair of President McGovern, Carter was considered the most conservative Democrat in ’76 and then Reagan was elected.

    Fast forward to 2019, and one of the things about the ‘OK Boomer’ movement is it’s based on the idea of when are all these reactionary geezers going to die? Progressive millennials and Gen Zers are especially subject to that type of angry snark, since they blame the Boomers for Trump being in office in the first place.

    If the majority of the Boomers ever were as progressive as the media made them out to be in the late 1960s and early ’70s, they aged out of it, though it’s more likely they never were as progressive as portrayed by the media, who were essentially seeing what they wanted to see from the group and using the most activist members of the first wave of Boomers to claim they represented everybody. So the question today is whether the media of 2019 is doing the same thing the media of 1969 did, and seeing what they want to see in the younger generations and declaring the most activist progressives among the millennial and Gen Z groups to represent all millennials and Gen Zers? Or are those two generations not going to shift right as they age and start dealing with more and more adult responsibilities?

    @jon1979 ….I’m…not…a boomer. Far from it. I’m witnessing my generation and our successors fall for the progressive left. It doesn’t surprise me much given the character (or lack of) flaws I’ve seen since high school. I do see good, the conservatives are naturally more quiet and have typically stuck to themselves. You make an interesting point that does uplift me some. I hope it’s a media exaggeration, as the one you described. What do you think? Are things being blown out of proportion by a left-wing media or are there really some terrifying statistics to worry about? I’m in the middle.

    • #7
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:43 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Ajalon J. Stapley Inactive
    Ajalon J. Stapley

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    A tremendous post. And, as you say, a very encouraging incident.

    Thank you @jimmcconnell

    • #8
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:44 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Ajalon J. Stapley Inactive
    Ajalon J. Stapley

    Blondie (View Comment):

    Nice post. PCU came out in 1994 and seems more relevant today than back then. I have to say my interaction with people younger than 35 gives me hope. The ones I know are more family focused, church going, and conservative in how they lead their lives than my “boomer” friends. Some have a good basis of history and civics, others not so much. I’m doing my part with my 16 year old nieces and the young folks at work. I pass along good books or history podcasts when I can.

    Isn’t that funny @blondie, PCU seemed so exaggerated back then, but compared to campuses today, it’s so mild. As a 36 year old, I will tell you there are a lot of us young people who are as you described. We error on the side of being to quiet out of fear or not wanting to offend. Many of my peers and younger who vote left are good people whose compassion is misguided and they really believe in the left’s rhetoric about helping others. 

    That’s great what your’re doing with your niece and coworkers, keep it up! Thanks for reading!

    • #9
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:48 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. Ajalon J. Stapley Inactive
    Ajalon J. Stapley

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    I am on the older end of Gen-X and what disappoints me the most about Gen-Y and Gen-Z is they are willing fascists. When I was coming of age (and still), my inclination was to resist the majority, fight authority, and fight for the little guy. These newer generations seem to enthusiastically embrace the power of government and the strongest voices of cancel culture. They are willing drones in a sea of compliance. What happened to “stick it the man”? Where is the music like “Authority Song” and “Were Not Gonna Take It” or even “Fight For Your Right, to Party“? America was built on rebellion, it is (was) in our DNA. I’m disappointed.

    @dong they think they are sticking it to the man, that’s the problem. They’re youthful rebellion has been manipulated to believe in the progressive tales of revolution and reinventing the system. They really think they are fighting fascism (ANTIFA) but don’t have the thinking skills, attention span and historical knowledge to step back and see what they are doing. They think they are rebelling (against capitalism, colonialism, white men, etc.) without realizing they are void of any unique, independent thought themselves. Ideas on how to approach that??? I’m not sure.

    • #10
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:53 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Ajalon J. Stapley Inactive
    Ajalon J. Stapley

    TeamAmerica (View Comment):

    Much of the damage is being done by our universities, dominated as they are by Postmodernist radicals. I suspect the students with their hands over their hearts were in high school, not a university. Sadly, our primary and high school teachers reflect this indoctrination in their teaching.

    @teamamerica they were high schoolers. I agree about universities as well as k-12. But we gotta stay positive. The left is the party of anger and cynicism. 

    • #11
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:55 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Ajalon J. Stapley Inactive
    Ajalon J. Stapley

    Percival (View Comment):

    I still say too much “Barney” and not enough “Jonny Quest.”

    Great post, Ajalon. Welcome to Ricochet!

    Thank you @Percival, nice quote. No “Jonny Quest” for me, I had sports. 

    • #12
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:58 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Ajalon J. Stapley (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    If you’re a Boomer, from that wider-than-it-should-have-been demographic of people born between 1946 and 1964, you’re probably old enough to remember that half a century ago you were the generation that was supposed to turn America into a progressive paradise. The media of the day extrapolated out from both the anti-Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement and was pushing the theme that the wave of young new voters, especially after 18-year-olds were granted the right to vote prior to the 1972 election, would use their power to help elect a wave of Democrats that would make LBJs 1964 landslide look like a pebble rolling down a hill by comparison. But we fell short by a hair of President McGovern, Carter was considered the most conservative Democrat in ’76 and then Reagan was elected.

    @jon1979 ….I’m…not…a boomer. Far from it. I’m witnessing my generation and our successors fall for the progressive left. It doesn’t surprise me much given the character (or lack of) flaws I’ve seen since high school. I do see good, the conservatives are naturally more quiet and have typically stuck to themselves. You make an interesting point that does uplift me some. I hope it’s a media exaggeration, as the one you described. What do you think? Are things being blown out of proportion by a left-wing media or are there really some terrifying statistics to worry about? I’m in the middle.

    Hard to tell at the moment, when we still have the X-factors of who Trump will be running against and what the economic and other situations will be 10 1/2 months from now. The first wave millenials are getting into their family spending years, and it’s hard to see them wanting to chunk the current economy for the Democrats’ programs if things stay where they are, while the younger millenials and Gen-Xers might be more open to changing for no other reason than change.

    • #13
    • December 9, 2019, at 6:47 PM PST
    • 1 like