In other news, I’ve been reading up on how to alter Gallery to my needs (mostly layout… I like the features sans modification), and in general acting like a slacker when it comes to actual work. I suspect it is because of this medication I am on, but I haven’t really been able to think for most of the month. This has made getting my schoolwork done somewhat more challenging that I’d like… rather hard to give critical thought on a book or concept when you can’t seem to concentrate enough to think about ANYTHING. I’ll slog through it, though, and hopefully it will pick up from there. (Yes yes, I know, “Hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!” I’m working on it.)
I had an interesting conversation with some woman today, while waiting for our respective cars to be dealt with down at the dealership where I get my car serviced. She’s in her early 60s, and has been wandering around for the past year or so, camping and exploring. We exchanged pleasantries, and memories of favorite campgrounds, and as she left, she said that she was pleased to see someone my age getting out and enjoying nature.
It seems that most people my age don’t really travel like that anymore. Not the majority of them, anyway. The general visitor demographic at national parks hasn’t stayed the same over the years, it has instead gotten older. The big chunk of visitors are the same people they always were… it’s just that those people have aged.
I wonder why that is, but I have a few answers already on the tip of my tongue. First and foremost: children rarely want to do the same thing as their parents. It is the very principle of rebellion. The young feel chafed by models set up by their elders, and fight to make themselves into something different, often at the cost of really worthwhile, wonderful activities and beliefs. Another thought that immediately comes to mind actually fits in with the first: we as a generation JUST DON’T CARE. We are the children of activists, do-gooders, meddlers, and workaholics, ignored and at the same time fussed over to the point of insanity. We see the long hours our parents put in, we see the rushing and the stress and the hopeless causes, and we become disillusioned by it. We are rushed off to summer camps and daycares for our early lives, and if by some chance the family does take a vacation, it is scheduled, organized, trying to cram as much into a short period of time as possible. There is no appreciation there: there isn’t TIME to appreciate it, so what’s the point? But we’re raised in this miasma of overplanning, time limits, and deadlines, so we don’t know that there is anything more TO appreciate about these places.
That was a bit more of a rant than I wanted it to be, but it doesn’t make it any less true: the new generation is never going to appreciate the wonders the world has to offer until they are given a chance to make that decision for themselves, to make their OWN destiny. All you aging pundits out there: shut the fuck up and let the new generation make their own mistakes. The more you mollycoddle, the more you create your own prognosticated “apathetic generation”.