Pots and Kettles

I was uptown yesterday. There was a young black man, walking alone, down the dirt sidewalk of fairly busy street. His pants were sagged around his upper thighs, making it very hard for him to walk comfortably or casually.

In fact, he was struggling noticeably with the height of his belt line, and as I waiting patiently for an opening to turn down a street, I chuckled at his need to defy fashion norms. Then, suddenly, the young man stopped walking. He looked around in all directions, and when he saw that none of his peers were present, hoisted his pants up to their intended position, adjusted his belt accordingly, and continued on his way.

I laughed and I laughed.

How easily the producer of this sign seems to have forgotten that they were once a dirty, pot-smoking, free-loving hippie.
How easily the producer of this sign seems to have forgotten that they were once a dirty, pot-smoking, free-loving hippie.

The particular problem of sagging pants is all over contemporary media, gaining national attention, and even spurring local leaders to threaten ordinances that would make such clothing misuses fineable and illegal. Some of the offending individuals proclaim that their chosen pant-style is freedom of speech, and therefore cannot be “silenced”. While that may be up for debate, the truth of the matter is that they are probably and generally after something that is as old as youth itself: attention.

Generation after generation, the young people of this planet have strove to outdo their predecessors, in terms of standing out. The parents of today turn up their nose at such abhorrent behavior, yet forget that their generation is defined by hard drugs and the kind of open sexual policies that created a viral pandemic.  And their parents blamed them, wholeheartedly, from behind their rose-colored glasses, after defining their own generation with bucking American ideals and refusing to join society in a timely manner.

It goes back as far as we’re willing to look. Every preceding generation “grows” out of their rebellious quirks, and forms an unspoken bond, usually just in time to find something insignificantly wrong with their kids, something they swear will cause the destruction of everything, as if too many belt buckles too close to the ground will magnetically destabilize the Earth’s core.

Today, kids are branching off into multiple groups, and finding one’s own rebellious acts now has options. Earlobe spacers, tattoos, death metal, voting for socialists: its all a way to tell mom and dad, “I’m not like you.” Funny thing is, they’ll grow up to do the exact same thing in reverse, and most of them won’t even realize it; let alone admit it.

Not only is this song spot on, and the video brilliant, I thought it captured the essence of this blog rather well.

The Space Between Steps

I exercised today, for the first time in a couple of months. I had a nasty infection that kept me far from any desires to “feel the burn”.

There are almost exactly twenty-three hours and fifty-six minutes in each day, and that is it! In this not-quite-as-long-as-expected day and age, everyone is racing the clock; we sleep less, we work more (especially women) we fight to experience every second of our blink of a life. It is a fact of the modern world that we all prioritize the factors of our lives, in order to ensure we experience the things we really want to get done.

I can usually handle quite a few things during the course of my day, and I enjoy multiple projects. However, when one is also battling a respiratory infection that demands one spend more of his precious day-hours in bed, monitoring the backs of his eyelids, prioritizing becomes strikingly relevant to the success of those projects. What do I continue to pursue, full force? What gets less of my time, and what gets shelved until I am feeling better?

All I can say is, you better get started.
All I can say is, you better get started.

Blogging, obviously, took a back seat, since it would be fruitless to blog about life in general if I wasn’t doing any living. I’m a firm believer of the notion that any step is a good step, no batter how big, as long as its being taken forward.

While my current situation is rather unique, it can still be used as an example of people everywhere undertaking similar bouts with priority.

You’ve got a bad cold and don’t want to go to work, but if you skip you may not have money for the doctor’s visit. If you go, you’ll probably get your co-workers sick, and we’re pretty sure that they’ll call in, leaving you to pick up the extra slack, while you’re recovering from illness.

Your friend has tickets to a big show, but you can’t find a sitter for your two tween children. It’ll probably be okay if you go out drinking and partying, come home just before dawn, and trust your kids to act like responsible adults, right?

Maybe, maybe not, but extreme examples, I’m sure, particularly where single mother and young kids are concerned. More than likely, the mother has to work extremely hard, pulling odd shifts and snagging as much overtime as possible, just to support her two young children alone. This is where priorities in the modern age begin to really take shape.

Demand. Inflation. Commercialism. It’s an American tradition to work hard, in order to give our children more than we had growing up, but the incline of that mountain is becoming increasingly sharp. Everyone has to work, often just to make ends meet, driven by the priority of providing for children they rarely ever see. The question is: are we trading a seat at the table of our children’s growth, simply so we can make sure they see adulthood? Have we created a society so driven to provide that we’re okay with glazing over a kid’s childhood, fine with checking in on them as adults to see how they turned out?

That brings up another unsavory possibility. Are we paying so little attention to our children that our kids are having kids of their own, without understanding the great responsibility it entails, when they still just want to be kids themselves, party life away and have fun? Imagine a few generations of that occurring, and you might shudder for the future.

I typed "annoying kid show" into Google, and this came up first image. I truly respect the parents that sit through stuff like this hundreds of times, just to spend time with their kids.
I typed “annoying kids show” into Google, and this came up first image. I truly respect the parents that sit through stuff like this hundreds of times, just to spend time with their kids.

I’m at that age where many of my peers have children. I do see pictures of sporting events, graduations, and first dances with dates, but I also hear that dreaded phrase, “where did I go wrong?”. Getting caught up in the rapids of life, many times without a paddle or knowledge of the river, finds many just trying to stay in the boat; others flying towards the waterfall. Who are we to say that any single person can even stop long enough to change their path, head down that branch in the river and into calmer waters? Would it be better if they did so?

Maybe, maybe not. All I can say is, do as much with that short little day as you can, prioritize based on ability, and don’t expect the public school system to pump out nothing but presidents single-handed. The rest maybe just be part of the ride.

Teaching kids the “family business” has been a way to spend time with them for countless generations. It’s too bad you can’t apprentice as a fast food cashier.