Thursday, March 28, 2024

Did You Really "Come Out Okay?"

My generation, "Gen X," really annoys me to no end when they start the nostalgic stupid-talk:

"I did [insert stupid/illegal/dangerous/cruel activity here] and I came out just fine...

"My parents [insert ridiculous borderline abusive parent tactics here] and I came out just fine..."

Did you? Did you really? Isn't it kind of arrogant to say, "I came out just fine?" How do you know? Could it be that you came out scarred and beaten-down? And, I mean, if one is total oaf, one won't know it, right?

See, because, maybe the reason we Gen X-ers have raised a generation of frightened, anxious and over-protected kids is because we grew up steeped in bad decisions and walked around frightened and intimidated by our elders and we were so heavily encouraged to "respect" them that even under circumstances of borderline (or actual) abuse, we suffered silently. [This did not happen to me, but it has sadly been the case for some.]

Maybe you didn't come out ok. Ever think about that?

I think about it, literally, every day. I keep a picture of myself as a toddler on my desk so I can ask myself: "Have I let that little guy down? Have I done my best to be the man he deserved me to be?"

We should all do that, I think. We need to stop justifying our own stupidity and that of our parents. We can love our parents forever and still acknowledge outdated parenting ideas. We can admit our own stupidity as kids and still maintain our cool factor.

To the Gen X-er who says, "My dad used to smack me with the fireplace tools when I slouched. That's what kids today need!" ...I say, "How about, no?"

Let's stop blaming some mysterious force for our mistakes with our kids and let's stop soothing our souls by pretending we are perfect.

Face the horror. Prove your parents really raised you with a backbone. Face your own imperfection. Prove all those cracks across the knuckles with the wooden spoon and those bike jumps over rusty scrap metal paid off.

Did you really "come out okay"?

No comments:

Post a Comment