“Today’s youth will never be as great as our forefathers.”
Well, yeah duh, isn’t that the point?
As much as I love to rag on most people being woefully indifferent to their lot in life, there is one commonality I see in every generation up-to-this-point. Every generation up-to-this-point had to have been the product of their parents (thought I know the diey nature of upbringing, a series of tale as unique and numerous as the stars in the sky). Whether their birth is intentional or otherwise, everyone of my genetaion is here. The question is, what do we do now?
The most resounding tales of two I hear are this: I want to do better for my kids or I want my kid ot continue the traditions of old. These two idelogoies usually exist at perpendiculars, as theiy want ultimate different goals, the weight of each wish is composed differently. What does it mean to pass on these intangible heirloom?
“I want a better life for my kids.”
I know this story first-hand as this is the tale of all El Salvadoran immigrants. Closer and closer to the truth I scratch, and as much as my heritage of home known as El Salvador, is a far and away from the world that is the current United States. The life there is so much poorer, but in their abudance of simplicity, they turn to religion to fill the rest of the facets of their heart. is it a better life? That question is difficult to answers as I grew up somewhere inherentently complicated. But as I ever claimis to want sa simple life, it is right there in front of me. The people may be poor, but they are rich in gratitude to be alive. The cost of living is probably half or even less for a half-decent life, but what does it mean to be half-decent? As the cost of living is jacked up, so is the quality of life and comfort. To through it all away for a simpler life, is the biggest ring-around I can possibly. They came here to give us a better life, yet it seems like I want to go back to live out the rest of my life somewhere simple and absent of all the unneeded coplications of the developed world, where everyone seems to be rat-racing to oblivion. What then, is the intangible heirloom being passed?
For a rare few, their wish comes true. Through a combiation of hard work, adaptability, and jumping in on lucky opportunities, someone’s kids WILL be living a better life. But this comes at a new price that is hard to forsee, a harder life by being sheltered and babied even out of infancy. When anything and everything you want is just a snap away, there is no more challege in living. But in this absense in challege lies a sense of misdirection and loss, where do you go when your parents have reached the top of the tower for you? As someone not in this realm, it’s hard for me to relate to the feelings of these priveliedge view. Popular media likes to paint these “trust fund babies” as ever-occupied in their bougie and luxurious lifestyles, performing nothing of value of society, just living off the interest generated by their parents. And when the few of them have their wealth ripped right under them like pulling the rug under an unsuspecting french poodle, they have no idea how to adapt. They were never challege to survive and adapt like their parents, and becomes just as vunerable, if not more so than the “plebs” they riducule for nothing being able to live such luxurious lifestyles. What here, is the intangible truth being passed down?
“I want my kids to pass down the traditions handed down to me.”
This area, is a completely mystery to me. My parents are ununsually for two reasons: they grew up in a place where traditions are things to be celebrated, not passed down like a weight to be ever protected and ever guarded. The second thing is that even though they grew up in a Latin American country where work ethic is important, they pressed if not celebrated our continued success in education and higher learning to make sure that we have a fighting chance in this developed world, unlike our cousins whose parents only compelted high school and if adaptable, a trade school ontop of that. For many of my friends as I continue discovering, their situations are not so similar. They come from a long lineage of tradtiion, and these traditions shackle them into staying loyal to the famly instead of loyal to themselves. The shackles of family expectations curtails their fate, molding it into whatever the family sees fit. Behind the weight of these chains is logical reasoning based off generations of forefathers behind the parents: the establishment and expectation of norms. The sad thing thing, family isn’t something most can leave behind. It is the blood ties that brought you into this world, and for your entire adolescent life, the very life blood that allows you to live and breathe at all (minors cannot be employed after the industrial revolution, and orphanages are not great places to flourish unfortunately). To challenge the tradition of your house is to challange your very existence, and for most, this is too much. All these weighty expecations t ake an imminse toll on these developing youths: once they have the chance to fly the coop, they go. And never look back. What is the intanigble heirloom being passed down here?
History and humanity change quickly, the battles of yesterday may be the memeories left behind as the battle of today continue to form and evolve. Despite their weight, the traditions of old can quickly crumble in today’s society if the ideals themselves were not adaptable in the first place. So with all these uncertain truths flying around, what is the intagible heirloom worth passing down?
Hope, perserverance, and the will of fire.
The idea that no matter where you are in life, no matter how down or up you may be, our kids should always find something worth fighting for and protecting, and never become complacement about where we end up in life. Not to work ourselves to our own graves, but rather, keep pushing and prodding for a better tomorrow, not just for themselves, but for the people around their, their future families, and all the intersections of beyond. In the intangible heirloom worth passing down, is an individualisc sense of purpose.
When our people have purpose, especially through being fortunate or unlucky enough to call themselves our children, we have a responsibility as the parents of tomorrow (or maybe even today for some readers) to instill the hope, perserverance and will of fire necessary four children to survivve when it is eventualy our turn to pass into the great frontier of the unknown known as death. When we pass away, what’s left? If we pass down the worthwhile intangible heirlooms, the seeds of purpose that keeps on growing beyond the generations we will ever meet, then only can we truly claim to have been a good parent.
Today’s word count: 1,208 words
Total word count until today: 43,585 words
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