People are getting really angry at younger people for ignoring the social distancing and self quarantine recommendations and just thinking, well I’m not going to die so who cares. Older people keep saying they need to do this for the greater good. Well, the younger generation has been saying we need better environmental regulations and better opportunities and a social safety net for the greater good. They’ve been saying we need universal healthcare, campaign financing reform, and more inclusivity for the greater good. And they’ve been ignored by the old people in power. Now the old people in power are telling the millennials, you need to do this for the greater good and millennials are saying, you don’t listen to us, so we’re not listening to you.
I’m forty-two and part of this weird half generation made up of people born from 1976 to 1982. I’m not a millennial, but I’m not Gen X either. Our older siblings are Gen X, but our younger siblings are millennials. I tend to straddle the two and can see things from both sides. In some aspects I’m more millennial and in other aspects I’m more older Gen X pre-technology, dinosaur days. I graduated from college in 2000. In the first 20 years of my adult working life there has been the dot com bust, 9/11, war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, the 2008 crash, Republicans blocking everything Obama tried to do, Russians hacking the 2016 election, Trump as president dismantling the government, and now the coronavirus. I understand the millennials’ anger.
Do I think it’s selfish that the younger people are ignoring the recommendations and putting other people at risk? Yes. Do I think it’s selfish that the older people are not doing more to help younger people have the same opportunities they had? Yes. I also know we all create our own lives regardless of the circumstances.
I find it ironic that the old people, specifically old white men, who have been telling millennials trying to create progressive change to basically, “Fuck off. You’re on your own. We’re not going to change,” are now insisting that millennials do their part and work together for the good of the whole, so that a bunch of old people don’t die. Baby Boomers have been broadcasting their message for decades: I’m in power, I don’t have to change. Basically if you’re in power, you can do whatever you want. And young people have been watching and are now following their example. They have the power now and can do whatever they want. I don’t think this kind of revenge thinking is the balanced, loving response, but I understand it. You don’t create a better life by lowering yourself to someone else’s level, but anger is much better than hopeless. The key is to keep moving up the scale to compassion and love.
We all create our lives with the thoughts and emotions we put out into the world. We all choose when to die. Whether you commit suicide or get hit by a bus or die from a disease, you are choosing when you die. If I step back and be the observer and think of this as Source, in a law of attraction kind of way, I know it’s all working out. We’ve been asking for change and this pandemic is ushering in a lot of change very rapidly.
This is the first virus that doesn’t attack young people, who are more fluid and open to change. The old resistant ones are dying and the young ones are going to move into positions of power. The shift may not have unfolded how we thought it would, but this is part of the big change we’ve been asking for. I’m not saying just let all the old people die. We need to pull together and help one another, which is precisely what younger people have been saying for years, and what I’ve been saying since I was a younger person. We need to help everybody. We need to be inclusive. Everybody needs to participate and help the whole population for the greater good. We need a social safety net. We need universal healthcare for everyone. Old people have universal healthcare. It’s called Medicare. Young people are just asking for that same basic human right.
COVID-19 is going to change the entire landscape. Everyone is still in it right now and panicking and dealing with the shock and fear. Luckily (or unluckily), I’ve been dealing with fear, depression and anxiety for years, and I have a foundation now, so I haven’t gone too much out of balance so far. I’m looking down the road and all the possible outcomes from this, and I’m trying to think of the positives, because there are going to be a lot of negatives before this tragedy is over. What is going to end up being for the greater good?
We’ve been asking for change. We’ve been asking for the healing of the earth. Well, this shutdown of the entire world is giving the earth a bit of a reprieve. The air quality above China has gone up dramatically. A lot of new technology is going to be developed because of this. Our election this fall could look a lot different if a good portion of the older, conservative voters are no longer alive to vote. I cringe even saying that because of how callous it sounds, but again we all choose when we die, and you better believe that political analysts are already thinking it.
Hopefully, this will make everyone realize we are all in this together. Not just with COVID-19, but with climate change, the world economy, and healthcare and other social problems. There can’t be older vs. younger, rich vs. poor, us vs. them. We need new ideas, and we need people with experience. We need open minds and people with the knowledge of how things have been done in the past. I think the most important thing that is going to come out of this is that we will have a renewed interest in connecting with people and connecting with our true self, and that will always be for the greater good.
I’ve seen a number of people commenting online about how hard it is to stay home all the time in order to create the social distancing recommended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I’ve never understood why people who can work from anywhere go to a noisy, busy coffee shop so they can concentrate on their work. People like that think it’s completely abnormal to be alone and are actually freaked out by the thought of being by themselves.
What is seen as an inconvenience to social people is an everyday reality to introverts and people with mental and emotional problems. I belong to both categories. Sometimes there are days I don’t talk to a single person. I’ve been this way my whole life, so it really isn’t that big a deal to me. I’m used to being alone. Even when I’m around people I tend to not really connect or participate. I do wish I had a few more people in my life, but truly I would not want a huge, boisterous group of family and friends, especially not considering what most people have to put up with in order to stay in or maintain the balance of the group.
Cultures revolve around socializing, so people feel cut off when they’re not physically with other people, but I think a lot of people give up themselves or compromise their own integrity with themselves so that they fit into the group or are accepted by the family or community. Religion, culture, family, society all put rules and restrictions in place and if you don’t follow those rules, you run the risk of being excluded or ostracized. In many times in history, if you left the community, you could very well die on your own, so people have this deep seated primal fear that if they are alone, they are at serious survival risk. I still have that to a certain extent; I think everyone does, but I spent so much time trying to find myself and extricate myself from depression, that I have zero desire to join a community that’s going to take me down that road again. I’d rather be alone.
I want people in my life who want me to be my true self, not to conform. I have only one person I talk to on a regular basis, and she is the very best friend anyone could ever have. We know each other inside out, have been through the good, the bad and the very ugly together. Nothing is private or off limits. We call each other on ALL our stuff and never go into reaction to each other or if we do, we say, “I’m in reaction to you. Please help me through this.” I say we, but I think it’s probably at least 60/40 with my stuff and I’m being generous. But you know what, she loves me anyway. We can be ourselves with zero judgement from the other. So when I say I want more people in my life, I mean more people like her. There’s nothing wrong with having friends you socialize with, acquaintances or colleagues you go to dinner with, but take this time of semi-quarantine to reassess the people in your life. If you don’t feel good when you’re with them, it may be time to let them go. Learn to sit with yourself, by yourself with no phone, no internet, no tv and get comfortable being with the amazing human being inside you.