Life in the 21st century….
I am an HGTV and Pinterest addict. I love DIY projects for the house and garden. Taking old, worn out, rusted stuff and making something useable or just nice to look at. So I find lots of ideas and inspiration in these two venues.
However, the more I see the more I am convinced that the younger generation will be devastated if they ever do have to eat it up, wear it out, or make it do. They all want to be ‘GREEN’ you know, yet they don’t want to give up any convenience or high-end amenity to make them look wealthier than they are. HGTV’s show Property Virgins usually has a young couple (many of them are not married) looking for their first house to purchase. They all want granite countertops, stainless steel, top of the line appliances, open floor plans, with at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large fenced in yard and a garage. Nothing wrong with aspiring to own a home but as I watch how ‘picky’ they are I wonder what they would do if they had to start the way my husband and I started.
Owning a home is at the top of the list of the ‘American Dream’ and I am sure we all want our Dream Home. Today in this economy and the current political climate not just in America but world-wide, this dream is not only fading but soon may become unattainable for the majority of people. The younger generations of Americans have grown up with a mentality of entitlement. They look at what their parents have worked a life-time to build and want it all as soon as they get married or finish their education. They want to walk out of Mom and Dad’s house into one of their own and have all the bell’s a whistles immediately. I have to wonder if they could survive a great depression as bad or maybe worse than what my grandparents and parents survived. They are high-minded, hight tech and high maintenance people. Smart phones, high-speed internet, 60″ flat screen TVs are necessities.
As I watch some of these young folks on their house hunt, it takes me back to a time when we rented a farm. The farm-house hadn’t been lived in for years and was older than dirt. It had been taken over by mice, rats, bugs of ALL sorts and a family of raccoons had taken up residence in the attic. It had a livingroom, two bedrooms, one crude bathroom, kitchen and a mud/utility/storage room. Old linoleum floors, no insulation, the doors and windows leaked whatever was blowing outside. There was a beige room, a pepto bismol pick room, baby blue room, navy room and the kitchen was army green. We walked in and immediately I saw the possibilities, back then we thought we could do anything. Since we were renting the land to farm, the house was a perk (no monthly rent). There was no phone line, the road to the house was really a deep sand turning row crossing a neighbor’s farm, there was a television antennae that was about three stories tall and slightly bent, the reception was so bad that we only watched the local news and weather reports. I gathered my cleaning supplies, vacuüm cleaner and imagination and went to work getting rid of the varmints and their mess. We painted, caulked, scrubbed, waxed, de-bugged and put out poison under the house and in the attic. Within a week the windows were shining, the pictures were hung, and the smell of good food cooking in the kitchen filled the house, we and our two little girls were at home, which we affectionately named ‘Coon Hollar’. I look back now and smile, wishing I still had that much energy! There is a lot more to this story but it would probably bore the socks off of everyone, so I’ll just save it for another time….
I know, I’m rambling again. This is supposed to be about life today but I just needed to look back in time for a bit. My whole point is that we as Americans are just plain spoiled. Now that my husband and I have reached our ‘golden years’ it is apparent that they will not be golden.
Survival in this century will be a lot more challenging for younger generations in many ways due mainly to government over-reach into everyday life. You can no longer buy a car that you can keep running yourself. Gone are the days when you could put on a new set of points and plugs, replace a carburetor or alternator and keep the old jalopy running. Things that were once necessities like canning equipment, meat grinders, windmills to pump water without electricity, smoke houses, root cellars, a milk cow and some chickens and a hog or two are novelties, expensive and not readily available or accepted unless you live in a rural area. People have to take classes on how to grow a garden. They think ‘organic’ is something new.
The ability to provide life’s basic necessities (food and shelter) has been systematically taken away from individuals to choose. There are limitations on everything via safety regulations, etc., which on the surface may have served a purpose but I fear unintended consequences are beginning to play out. Without the knowledge or ability to self sustain people are left to turn to government to provide what they neither have the knowledge for or are prevented from doing because it has been outlawed by government regulation. Inventiveness and ingenuity have been discouraged and replaced by an ever-present nanny state.
Maybe I am just an old codger looking back through rose-colored glasses to a time that today’s youth think is pure fantasy. It is a fantasy today and it makes me sad. When the individual no longer has the ability or freedom to determine their own destiny, need can no longer be the mother of invention and mankind will stagnate in their own cesspool of government provided equal misery for all.
The freedom of the individual is how America became the land of opportunity and prosperity, providing people with the ability to invent, imagine and improve life for all. Today we are faced with generations who believe they need protection from too much freedom. That is a sad commentary of a population who have only the freedom of the individual to thank for all the amazing things they now feel entitled to. They prefer limited freedom via government for even themselves in order to feel secure from their neighbors, employers, parents, etc.
I often wonder if the pioneering spirit of America is a thing of the past…..I may be crazy but I would love to go back to ‘Coon Hollar’ and to a time that my only limitation was my own ability and imagination!
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- Tagged: Conservative, DIY, Do it yourself, Entitlement, Family, Freedom, Individual Liberty, Individualism, Ingenuity, Inventiveness, Liberal, Necessity, Regulation, Security