Dear Next Generation,
Thanks for taking the time to read my letters. I know some things that I have written you have been dismissed as suggestions from an an old soul that don’t seem to relate to you. That’s perfectly okay. I write to you only as a offering of knowledge that I would hope helps in your journey to greatness. I feel that such an amazing generation like yours, could benefit from a little insight from a generation that has tried to be as successful as yours. You see, my generation has made mistakes. We didn’t listen to past generations offering advice. We thought we knew better. We were going to forge a new way that they hadn’t considered. They had their old ways but we were bold and unafraid, we knew better.
We pushed forward without a care. It was our way. We didn’t need any help, we only needed for the old to get out of the way. We were sure that we had this. They had their chance and this time was ours.
As time moved on, we found that we were making mistakes that shouldn’t have happened according to our plans. Those of us that saw this happening stopped to re-evaluate. We saw patterns of behavior that occurred before us that we were also doing. It seemed stupid to continue. It wasn’t enough that they were right, just that we had slipped up with our plans. It haunted us that they warned against what was now happening. We bucked up and stood by our choices no matter the outcome. Regardless of our resolve, we did not succeed, otherwise you’d be calling my generation the greatest.
Of course this took a long time and a lot of failures to see it. In 20-20 hindsight, it was a great waste of time.
Today we are old. We can now easily see how our failures were so stupid because of ignoring the past. It’s too late for us. Sure we can play catch up for a bit, but things could have been really different had we heeded the unwanted advice.
My generation is mediocre but could have been great. We caused our situation thinking we knew better. But we didn’t. The one thing that I’ll credit our generation with is that we stood by our decision to ignore the past and to try and prove that we knew better, no matter how wrong we were.
Yes, some actually succeeded with sheer determination and guts. There are always standouts in every situation. My hat is off to them.
But, as always, I have to ask how much easier could it have been had they used that advice? And did they reinvent the wheel while ignoring the past ?
Now, as I write you, I can only hope you can find a way to trust me when I contradict what I, myself did.
My generation paid the price of being stubborn and bullheaded. You’d think with our determination, we would turn out to be the amazing generation you should be writing about. Instead, we’ve just existed and took up space. Almost a wasted life.
Except for you.
We survived, only just. But our redemption is in passing on the things we were offered to help us. Those things we rejected.
We are wise only because of time, not because of choices. We can now see what is right. That information we ignored is still real and now I see, will always be. It’s as old as time and what has kept our species from becoming extinct.
So as you take the time to read my letters, please remember that I, like generations before me, have failed. Some in more spectacular ways, others only mildly.
I write to you because you remind me of my prior self. I write to you like I was advised. I don’t expect for you to be different.
Maybe I do.
Like a proud parent I see more in your generation. I’ve seen how you reject selfish things. I’ve also seen your ability to use any information to become stronger. You listen and learn and apply knowledge. You shine in any situation. That’s amazing.
Because of you, this could be the end. This could be the last time knowledge doesn’t fall on unwilling ears at a time when it’s most useful for you. This could be the time that a generation uses past generations successes and failures to leapfrog to a higher place.
Every generation hopes their successors will prosper, why else struggle? Most generations grow into nurturing ways to ensure the continuation of their species. At the beginning, a child needs everything for her survival. Later on, she can do that on her own but isn’t there more to life than surviving?
I’ve seen a lot. You will too. When it’s your time to assist your replacements, I know what you might tell them. It will sound familiar while you suggest it. Just like the Déjà vu I get every time I share something with you.
So while I do my diligence and offer what time and life lessons has taught me, remember why.
You have always amazed me and I am so grateful that you allow me to, in my small way, help to create the greatest generation that has ever been. Thank you.
Until next time Dear Next Generation, Do try new things safely for you and your generation.