Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Greatest Generation

The baseball games between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox have consumed me, therefore I was unable to complete this post last evening. I did want to briefly talk about this book I read last weekend; The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw.

The book is a collection of stories of men and woman who "came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America." I quoted that because there is no way that I could have said it better. These are people that actually went out of their way to join the military and fight for our country, for something that they truly believed in, for something that truly made sense. Stories of families who survived the battle scars of the Great Depression and never looked back or down, only forward and up at what could be and how to make it happen. I don't know when or how it things changed, but I do not sense these feelings today, here in my generation or the one that has followed.

"This generation was united not only by a common purpose, but also by common values - duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family, and above all, responsibility for oneself." When reading the stories of these people, and this generation I couldn't help but be convinced that somewhere since, something has gone terribly wrong. I just don't see these attitudes in my generation. So often it seems to be about accumulating material wealth, selfishness, and excesses in the here and now. They were a generation united and we simply are not. This is a beautiful book and a wonderful read, but I have to admit it left me feeling so out of place. As much as I aspire to the attitudes of courage and honor, the man in my mirror is a product of his generation.

I don't mean to brand all members of the two or three generations since WWII as selfish, self-centered, and materialistic. I know plenty of wonderful, generous, caring, selfless people. However, it just seemed like those wonderful qualities were instilled and inspired from a different place.

Until next time, May God Bless You All!

No comments: