Every weekday I take a commute bus from my home in Stockton (CA) that drops me off in downtown Sacramento – from there I take a city bus to my actual work site.
A lot of young folks who are clearly high-school or college students ride the same bus I do (not surprising). I’ve repeatedly felt a quiet angst seeing that more often than not, they’re “plugged in”. Ipods and similar knock-offs adorn their ears. Sometimes even *I* can hear their music (I’m too deaf to know what it is, but I can hear it).
Beautiful children, sucked in by corporate driven conformity – that’s how I see them. And I just sit there and grieve for the future I believe they’re setting themselves up for. A future like my now, with much of my social life extinguished by the inability to have a simple conversation. Sure, I’ve found many ways to cope and communicate, but it’s always a struggle for both parties. Kids automatically think they’re invincible. I know – I was one once.
Sometimes I think I should say something, but then I wonder – what if these kids (let’s face it, they’re riding the bus) can’t even care about the future, because they see none? I know that the future has to be an even scarier prospect right now than I had it as a kid (under a steadfast threat of nuclear holocaust – which seems to be rearing its ugly head again). Our kids now have no guarantee of even achieving the “American Dream” or the lifestyle it promises. And I’ll say it – it is we (or our corporate peers, at least) who have robbed our children of their rightful future.
So it is, that one of these days, I probably *will* say something to one of my heart-wrenchingly young and beautiful (male or female, just the same) co-riders. I know it’s “hip” and I know you like the music (which I’m about finished grieving the loss of), and I know it makes you feel “part of”. Same feelings I had. Just know that you *could* live to be 49 (me) or older, and yes, you could lose it. Cherish it – care for it! That would be my only message.
Paul S – AKA: LifeWrecked