Generation Gaps

"I must study politics and war that my sons have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music."
- John Adams, second president of the United States

This statement of civil pursuits in America is not only an interesting look into the inner psyche of our founding fathers, but also a reflection of the affairs of our current society.

My grandparent's generation is the greatest generation. They are the ones who fought in Korea, and World War II before that. Their passions and ethics stemmed from a sense of duty; it is what they felt was owed to their families and their nation. They waged wars, set laws, and focused on politics for one reason only: to make this nation a better place for their kids.

My parents generation worked with the sciences, science of the mind and the world around us. The delivered the concept of civil discontent and disobedience. They gave us the internet, environmentalism, satellite television, and innumerable revolutions in technology and society. They brought us into the information age.

My generation's realm of comfort is in the arts. Raised by MTV, we are desperate for stimulation. Our music is loud and obnoxious. Our poems bare our souls. Our appetite for instant gratification seems to dictate the policies and habits of the generations that paved our way. We are creative, yet misguided.

It is funny. The first generation acted out of duty, the next generation acted out of freedom, while the last generation has mistaken a privilege as a right.

I think it is about time we restart this pattern. It is time we start training the new generation to care about our country, to take a stand and fight. If we don't take that step, future generations may not have freedom to pursue science or the right to create art.


  1. I feel compelled to applaud you on your insight into the social dynamics which have inspired and driven our countrymen, past and present.

    Your opening statement, a quote of the great John Adams, sheds light on the way our nations forefathers felt about the importance of a government that was created by the people and a government which was governed by a free people.

    It was not all the people of that time which had such insight. Our forefathers were unselfish leaders within their communities, who in many instances gave everything, their homes, businesses, families, and yes... their lives, so that we could piss away the future vision of John Adams.

    Today, we enjoy a government which is quick to remind us of our "First Ammendment" rights, which is quicker to change the definitions and meanings of the rest to suit their needs, and which NEVER is heard reminding the public they serve of their "Second Ammendment" rights.

    John Adams... Historic Hero, Forefather of freedom, and if he were alive today... Punishable under the Patriot Act as a terrorist.

    God Bless America, and forgive the blasphemy of our governors.

  2. brentandrews7:49 AM

    Well said, Nic.

    Though on another level I think the "Greatest Generation" left us with a lot of problems, like the drug war. Democratic governments should not make war on their own people. Nor should they pass laws suppressing minorities in favor of majorities (Alexis de Tocqueville called this "Tyranny of the Majority"), which many states are doing to keep homosexuals unmarried (and promiscuous? One wonders whether the nation's pastors on the down-low might not want homosexuals married, might rather have them available on the scene for secret trysts).

    We have a long way to go before our country recognizes the sovreign person.

    Thanks for the food-for-thought.


  3. Nuff said. One thing one generation does, the next does in excess is what I have heard said many times. Well, now look at the generation after you and I. They too are creative and misguided. Additionally though, they are arogant, irreverant and quick witted. However, they relate very well with our grandparents and do have a greater respect for them than they do their own grandparents. Why, I have no idea, but they do.

    In order to break the chains of beatings in a family, someone in the younger generation needs to step up. Well, you said it. We need to step up and help change the generations after us.

    I have no idea why or what I mean with what I just wrote. But I wrote it. Enjoy

  4. U S Grant, in his last letter on the war to President Lincoln signed it as, "your most humble servant".... Somehow I wish our current politicians would work for the people we serve in similar fashion instead of working so ever diligent just to get re-elected. By the way, great thinking, but what triggered this surge of thinking/wisdom in you?

  5. Great post.

    I hate to be shameless, but you might enjoy reading one of my posts at http://waywardepiscopalian.blogspot.com/2007/01/harry-belafonte.html. It's a summary of a speech you might appreciate.

  6. I was just reading back posts that I missed along the way and was really struck by this one. This is where we are... but people don't know that they need to study philosophy and history to get to the art and music stage... in fact the general thought is, now we don't have to study war and politics, we can go entertain ourselves...