This post is not about the generation gap. The funny thing is that I don’t really know what this post is about. I think this post has something to do with yesterday’s non-indictment. Bear with me while I muse on the topic of age and humanity in the light of Ferguson.
So, let’s go back in time for a bit and then we’ll see where we go from there. I was always an awkward and maladjusted teenager. I felt like I swayed in the winds of reality vs fantasy, having friends vs being a loner, saying the right thing vs blurting out everything that came to my mind; just plain swaying between the proverbial blacks and the whites. I don’t think I ever considered the grays. It took me several years, until after my cousins grew up that I started understanding communication, relationships with others, friendships and somehow through them I began learning to process my world. I always felt behind though. I always thought they were so much smarter than me. They knew things and understood things better. That was that. That was the truth and I was sticking to it.
And then I’ll tie in acting to this blog post, because I can. I was in a show last year called “Splendor in the Grass”. There were a lot of teens cast in that show and I will say that I never forgot what the director spoke about the first night we all met for rehearsals. She said something so profound, that my then 41 year old self felt my proverbial light bulb turn on. It was my “ah ha” moment. It all made sense. And it all makes sense now. She said, and I’ll paraphrase here, “I’ve studied psychology and I learned that the brain doesn’t fully develop long term consequence processing skills until the age of 25. So, when I tell you guys to do something, just trust me on it…” She went on with other stuff more relevant to the actual play but suddenly there I was. I felt like a million dollars. Someone had just handed me the Holy grail, the secret to life, the end all be all, the tesseract, the… the… Oh! You get what I mean. It was liberating. And I felt my years of life fall into place. I wasn’t stupid all along. I just hadn’t grown up yet. I just needed to age, like a violin or fine wine.
I will add another quote that I learned from theater here. Another profound moment for me. I can’t remember the show because I hated it. I hated the concept, the music and just plain hated everything about it. And yes, I’m quoting from that awful show. But I want to preface with my dad and his general philosophy. He says, “If you learn one thing. Then it’s still worth it!” Well, so I go through this horrible show and I learn one thing. “The only reality of childhood are adult consequences.” Yes, it was worth it.
One more thought on this. A good friend of my husband’s mentioned how terrorists are mostly under 22 or something like that! He suggested TSA (whole another topic for me) do age relevant screenings to be more effective and being easier on the older folks. And it all ties in and makes sense.
So, now I go back to the age divide and my original thoughts. I don’t know the age of the people doing all the looting and violence in Ferguson. I know Michael Brown was 18 and robbing a store. It’s tricky. I don’t think we, as adults, truly understand or respect that the folks under the age of 25, just don’t get it. Their form of expression with violence, seems rightful to them. If you were to be in their shoes, you would do the same. When my girls at work ask me, “how does all this violence solve anything? Why can’t they be peaceful?” I give them my lecture on age and understanding of “adult consequences”. And recognition that it takes time in years for children to grow up to teens to grow up to adulthood. And in that time, there’s a lot to be said about their thoughts and processes. I don’t know the age of the Ferguson grand jury, but I sure hope everyone there was over 25. In my mind, based on my thoughts, if you were to walk a mile in my shoes, I would think the verdict was inaccurate if the jury members were composed of individuals under 25!
I know this post goes all over the place, but at the end of all of this rant is a simple message. We need to respect everyone. We need to put ourselves in their shoes and see what the best solution is. I don’t have one. But I do believe that if we all collectively put our hearts and our minds together, we can solve the issues of our youths and in turn of our future. As far as Ferguson is concerned. Same thing really. As adults we are capable of looking out and seeing the big picture. We need to use our skills of empathy for the greater good. We need to learn, respect, understand and move forward to a more productive and peaceful community, society and world in general.
That’s it for now,
This is TTR signing off…