Very impressive, given your stated age. If more of the "younger generation" were like you, I'd definitely uphold an optimistic attitude.
Sadly enough, the youth of today have become "technologized". (Yes, I just made that word up.) Their default mode is attachment to a piece of
technology, whether Xbox, laptop, smartphone, mp3 player, or whatever the latest gizmo becomes. The youth of today are becoming more advanced than
us, understand the gadgets better than us, and accordingly, are more dependent on them.
With their technology, they know how to research anything, and find answers. Take away their tech, and they are lost and mindless. They have
forgotten (or never learned) how to read books, never experienced Heinlein or Clarke, and would prefer to stare at a widescreen TV for hours on end.
They are being fed information through mainstream media, the webz, or txt msg. I lament the loss of all the old skills. The practical skills.
I was born into an era before the interwebz, but luckily, I was in on the groundbreaking, and have sat back in my rocking chair watching and
interacting. I can build a customized ROM for an Android device, root it, and tinker with clock speeds and voltages to maximize battery life. I love
Starcraft 2, suck at the bosses in Diablo 3, (can't get past Mephisto soloing) and have about a 15 second lifespan in multiplayer Halo 4. I am as
technologized as the younger generation, relying on the Navigation app on my smartphone to get me to places I've never been, and in truth, it's a
But none of that is a necessity.
[ begin rambling mode]
I also garden, raise honey bees, fish for sport, and walk through woods or mountain bike. Camping is seasonal, but there's nothing better than to
break away from it all and spend a night roughing it. I was fortunate to have a grandfather that had a large farm, and I learned all the survival
skills at a very early age. We were taught how to hunt, taught how to fall trees, what their names were, and how to process them into firewood, 8
cords of wood per winter, for two families, with two adults and two kids doing all the work. That's a lot of wood cutting. I could trim a downed
tree with a chainsaw by the time I was 16, as well as sharpen the blade on it with a rattail file, and tear it apart, clean it, and reassemble it. We
were one of the families that switched to burning wood during the 80's oil crisis, and even though it was backbreaking work, as I look back, I gained
a lot of skills.
For instance, a couple years back, I had a coworker ask me if I could take down a tree for them. I asked what kind. She said a Walnut. I asked why.
It was a dying tree, and she had already called all the local tree companies, and none of them would touch it. It was in between three other trees,
on a city lot, with other houses within falling range, cable tv lines, and power lines all around, and a narrow 15 foot wide path behind their garage,
the neighbors chain link fence as one border, and the back of their garage the other. The was no room for a bucket truck to reach it, so I saw why
she asked me. The tree was about 40 feet tall, straight trunk, diseased, and about a foot and a half in diameter. They wanted it out to allow more
light in for their grape arbor, so I agreed to do it if I got all the trunk wood.
(I turn wood on a wood lathe, as a hobby, creating wooden bowls and such, and since walnut blanks are fairly rare and expensive, after inspecting the
tree, I set my price.)
I hadn't dropped a tree in years. I dug my chainsaw out of storage, tuned it up, and was good to go. They must've thought I was crazy when I
looked a the tree from every angle, calculating, old information pouring back in, lessons my grandfather taught me, unused, but remembered.
I made a notch in the trunk, at the proper height and angle, whispered a prayer of thanks for the tree under my breath (just a bit of codgery old
druidism) and ran the felling cut from the other side. The slight breeze dropped the tree exactly in the narrow 15 foot corridor, and it fell evenly
between the fence and the garage. All the onlookers cheered. I smiled and chuckled, mimicking a curtsy to the gathered crowd.
[ /begin rambling mode]
The point is, older folk ramble. They ramble as I have about their experiences. Those experiences are now just stories, but to honor the older
generation, pay attention to their stories now and then. Visit a nursing home, and listen. There's wisdom in a story, and not just in the words,
but with what you are able to walk away with. Knowledge is precious, and the older generation has boatloads of it. We're not all just doddering old
fools. We know stuff, if you kids would just listen.
After reading through all that, I have but two pieces of advice for you:
Be proud of what you learn.
Never stop asking questions.
(BTW, I'm roughly 16,060 days old.)