‘Them and Us’

It must always have been so, but the gap between the generations, especially between the quite young and the very old, is for me a constant sadness. There are all sorts of rational causes to do with it : education, family values, the immense effect of the media, social background ( how can us older people not be careful about money and waste when we grew up in the harsh years of war when everything was in short supply? ). The glamour of youth and the grunts of old age are a gulf it is very difficult to bridge. Culture and ambition divides us and older people can be highly critical of the young, whom often we don’t understand, and the young I imagine are happy to notice us if necessary but to manage very well without us. And both reactions are sad.

Yesterday there was a seismic shift in the world when Barrack Obama became the President-elect of the U.S.A. It was for my wife and I who had been following closely the campaigns of the two rival candidates, a wonderful moment when Obama spoke so eloquently to that huge Chicago audience.

It had seemed that all the way the result could have gone either way until at last the polls turned into votes. Obama is where he is because of his own gravitas and a brilliant campaign team. But for another reason too.

More young people voted than ever before in American history. Voting ceased to be merely a generational thing. There had been more applicatants for voting rights than ever before, many of them from black and young people. If I was an American in my late 70’s I would today be thanking the young of the U.S.A. for coming to the rescue of us older ones. And I would be giving all I could to justifying and upholding their optimism and hope. For they helped to clinch the election, or even decided it.

So, the gap can sometimes be bridged! All of us need each other and on this occasion young people were the cavalry coming to our rescue.


..Oh! in the blog of October 11 I said that these postings were apolitical. Just this once, changed my mind!