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Alice Skadsberg: Where have we come from and where are we now?

I have observed, over the last ten years or so, humans of all ages and sex accomplishing their goals much differently than my generation from the 50’s and 60’s.

The goals seem to be the same but the journey to those goals have changed. My “goal” today is to explore with you not only the goals of life but the diverse journey to get there. Here goes:

Let us start with me the “Baby Boomer,” born after WWII. The journey was quite simple then. Graduate from high school — and as a woman, get married, have a family, be a good wife and mom. Also help out at your kids school, keep the house clean and family fed, etc.

If you were a guy, it was to get a job that had a good retirement and benefits. You stayed at the same job until retirement.

Not every one had this journey but the majority. Many of my friends fulfilled that destiny and many of my high school gal friends did not go on the school and often did not work outside the home, or became beauticians, secretaries, nurses, teachers (if they did go to college), store clerks, etc. The main goals for men and women was to have a family, maybe a cabin, and have a nice home. Money was nice but making lots of it was not the goal.

I was one that broke the mold in several ways. Yes, I became a nurse but went back to school several times and developed a career, not just a job. I divorced, owned my own home, and wrote a book. They weren’t the standard goals of the time but my life ended up to be quite satisfying.

The next generation after mine was fairly similar but you could see that change was coming. Men and women were encouraged more to get extended education and the beginnings of shared responsibilities at home was beginning to come into the picture. It was also the start of personal pleasure was becoming more important than material things. Waiting to get married and have kids was barely in the picture but popping up.

This is not to say that later generations did not have a work ethic but it was becoming very different than mine. Finding “satisfying work” — work that gave you personal pleasure — was becoming more of a priority. Children were in the picture but often to older parents. Methods of child rearing was becoming very different than earlier generations for sure.

Now let us jump to now, the 21st century. My observation has been that rarely do men and women stay in the same job for life and careers change frequently as well. Secondary education had become very important, though to be clear, I have noticed recently, that the trades are back on the upswing due to necessity.

There are parts of the modern way that I do not care about for sure . I see certain groups of men and women that have become totally self absorbed with a sense of entitlement. That was not so obvious in the 60’s. I like some of the new journeys though I wish there was a better balance of yester year and today. My generation believed in work first, pay your bills, then play. Today it appears the be the opposite way too often.

However……. Our goals are all the same no matter which generation you are in. Those goals are to have a satisfying life, be happy or at least content, and to leave this world leaving a somewhat positive legacy for our children and society as a whole. If you watch the news you know we are far from it and at times it seems we are going backwards rather quickly, (and not in a good way).

In closing, I hope we as a people can find that balance. I do not believe in handouts but do believe in a hand up for people going through hard times. I believe everyone needs to start taking true responsibility for what they do and don’t do in life. You know be “accountable”. I also feel that sometimes you have to take a job to pay the bills, that perhaps you don’t particularly like or enjoy doing.

I had some one tell me that the world is not the way it was in “my day” or my Dad’s day. TRUE!!! Some of that is good and some of those changes are sending us as a society, right down the “crapper.” as my dear departed Dad would say). Let us try to find the balance and begin to listen to each other. We all have wise things to share, thoughts that are worth listening to, don’t you think?

‘Till next time lets listen more and talk less. I am trying.