Some young folks seem to be wondering about us, the older generation of their parents, those survivors from the 60s and 70s, how on earth we ever managed to get this old and make it this far around, I mean, being such losers and all, with our loser hair-cuts, our loser clothes, and why, we didn't even have cell phones back then, no ipods or computer games.
To be honest, sometimes I wonder myself how on earth I managed to ever get this old. Especially since we were lacking a few other things our younger generation touts, such as their undying self-confidence, not doubting for a second that the world is theirs for the asking or less, a snap of the fingers, along with the solid assurance that they have all the time in the world, and why, by the time they're going to be really old, like in their 30s, they might have even invented some stuff to enable them to live forever...
We didn't have any of that, since we were always scared stiff that the inventions of our parents' generation were going to see to it that the world was going to come flying around our ears any day. The only dweebs who thought that time was on their side in our generation were the Rolling Stones.
So, I guess the secret of our survival against all these odds was that we simply made do with what we had. We were more or less happy for what each day brought, because, well, it may have well been our last, and we didn't miss any ipods or cell phones or gameboys because we never even knew you needed to have these things in order to survive. As they say, sometimes ignorance is bliss.
I'm afraid we did have a few qualities, which, granted, may have been a little antiquated (since we were still way back on the first few steps of evolution compared to that quantum leap of enlightenment we all experienced during the first decade of the 21st century), such as that ancient thing called appreciation (I'm sure it's not even in the dictionary anymore), and oh, yes, that one was really a joke: we called it respect.
We didn't even know what it meant back then, but when you looked at someone, you didn't immediately see the loser in them, but a howbeit primitive, but nonetheless human being, and we gave them the benefit of the doubt. They may have been different from us - even older, but we somehow gave them a chance to prove themselves to maybe not turn out to be a mega-loser, after all (although the evolution of the word "mega-loser" only set in a decade later, or two, I must admit). In other words, me might have given them a second glance, which, in essence is what re-spect means: "look again!"
Instead of Stalloneian invulnerability and Schwarzeneggerian immortality we had to do with an outdated item called decency.
Somehow, though, the fact that we were missing out on all the qualities that make the new generation so superior managed to perfectly elude us. We didn't even realize.
We somehow managed to exist with only a fraction of the TV channels available to folks today, without all the wonders of hi-tech communication and just resorted to the available, though primitive means of verbal conversation, or even writing letters and such stuff.
Since we had a lot less things, those fewer things somehow meant more to us.
Even such tiny, seemingly irrelevant particles of our world as words still seemed to have a meaning to us - back then, that was, before our politicians enlightened us to the delusion of our ways (since they obviously proved the opposite to be true time and again, namely that words don't really coincide with reality).
Yes, they were strange and bizarre times, and I guess the way most young folks nowadays relate to them was the way that we looked back on the Stone Age.
So, here's a salute to you, the younger generation of the onset of the 21st century, from one of those ancient cavemen: May all your dreams come true, and not turn into nightmares (just as many of our nightmares thankfully did not come true), and may you achieve all your goals. May those who lead you turn out to be truer than those who led us, and may you, too, learn to appreciate what you have, and - perhaps the way we did - despite all that wealth of new knowledge you accumulate, enjoy a little bit of the blissful ignorance occasionally, of all the things future generations will wonder how you managed to survive without; and may you - if possible - remember this one piece of advice from a 20th century Neanderthal man:
"It's not having what you want, but wanting what you have" that counts.