The people my age, “My Generation,” often counterintuitively slow our abilities to learn because we are fairly positive that we are the enlightened ones. As any of you that graduated in the 1990s, up and through about 2005, already know, we are the most brilliant generation there has ever been. Just ask us.
This isn’t just some random idea that some blogger dude writing from his breakfast bar made up, either. There is evidence. The advent of the Internet happened when we were in our most influential years of our lives. So aside from all the great music and clothes, living through the change of “how to find” and access all the information planet earth has ever seen, yet also knowing that it wasn’t always this way, has made us all-powerful. We are the transition generation, and I think largely because of this, “We know a better way.” For everything. And we’re not at all shy about telling you.
Sorry parents. Oh yeah, and sorry, kids. And students, plane seat neighbors, innocent passersby, and anyone else unfortunate to come across us. Yeah. We ruined social media. It was us.
One hundred percent certain that our way is the right way, and if we can just yell loud enough and present enough “facts,” surely everyone will fall into our way of thinking. Do you think politics are bad now? Just wait until you see the next generation of “one way to rule them all!”
But doesn’t that all just come to a screeching halt when we get some sound advice from somebody much wiser and often older than us?
The Yodas from the generations before us.
Our parent’s generation? Hell No! We’ll never listen to you guys. I’m talking about the people who lived through the Great Depression, not the Oil Embargo of gas prices at 75 cents and a World War that changed the face and borders of countries, languages, alliances, and the economic landscape of the planet. (sidebar. I’m not knocking my parent’s generation. It’s a scientific fact that kids physically and emotionally CAN NOT listen to nor heed any advice from their parents. – I’m watching this play out in real-time with my kids. You could have at least warned us.)
Nope, Grandparents. The OG’s. Grammy V was one of these.
She didn’t have a doctorate degree and half of the alphabet after her name on business cards; heck, she didn’t have business cards. That kind of stuff didn’t impress her. She didn’t blindly trust that doctors were more intelligent just because of a dozen extra college years. She trusted what she knew. She didn’t talk a lot.
Oh, she’d ask questions to see what I thought about stuff.
At the time, I thought she wanted my advice… “Here’s how you do this.”
I can see now she was just testing me to see if I was evolved enough to even have a rational discussion with her.
This WW2 generation talking to their grandkids is similar to the discussion of Aliens not wanting to communicate with Earthlings because they are watching our planet to see when we’ve evolved enough to “NOT try to dissect and KILL their ambassadors!”
Grammy Viersen could say more with one word than I can with an online platform.
So I’m going to share something I should keep to myself. My insider information from someone much more intelligent than me. I learned a lot with her, and often while visiting her ranch, would stay up late into the wee hours of the morning going over something she said in passing. Mind-blowing stuff.
She told Nikki and me that arguing is the planet’s most significant waste of time. Political debates, social media rants, what food tastes better, how to look at money…a waste. “One side wants what? A win? There is no win. It’s just a bunch of noise and turkeys puffing out their chests. When I speak to someone that starts arguing or debating, even when I know they are wrong, I just say, “Oh?” with a question mark at the end. That either stops it, or they just think I agree. There is no arguing, nor is there even a volley return with which they can do anything. It just ends, and we move on.”
This comes up as I was thinking about a friend and her 5th-grade son.
Like all good fifth-grade boys, Luke wanted with all his heart for school to end early for summer vacation. I think he was misinformed, mixed up, or possibly, like kids that age, fooled by expectation, imagination and hope. He had told my friend Jackie, his mom, the wrong day for the end of school. He was 100% confident he knew, and she was 100% sure he was wrong. Poor Jackie was not about to be shanghaied and fooled by her middle child. It turned into a mess. A dozen text threads, group chats, calls to principles and superintendents, and social media questions.
It eventually worked out, but she and Luke went back and forth for a few hours on this, both trying to prove their points like a 1990s courtroom drama at the Century theaters, “You can’t handle the TRUTH! (dramatic fist pound.)
Here’s the point.
A few hours. Text threads. Posts. Debate. It’s exhausting, and nobody gets further down the road.
Do you know what would have worked here? A simple “Oh?” and we’re moving on. I’ll pick you up when school ends.
Trump is the best President. “Oh?”
Here’s what you have to do immediately upon arriving at Disney World? “Oh?”
Here’s how you tie a fishing hook. “Oh?”
Trump is a monster! “Oh?”
Gas prices rise because (fill in the blank.) “Oh?”
And especially for all facts/idiocrasy/click clickbait’s/help/nutritional advice on all social media platforms. Especially the ones trying to piss you off, dad. Stop commenting and writing them back. That’s why they wrote them!
And on and on for infinity.
You’re welcome for the extra 300+ hours a year you’ve been looking for. That and the one less ulcer and headache because of stupid stuff.