Friday, July 01, 2005

Blade Runner Welcomes You (Part 2)

Daniel Willhite sent me a wonderful e-mail about his parents and he graciously allowed me to share it with you. This is in response to the rate of change post I made yesterday.

My dad will be 84 on July 5th. He has no problem keeping up with science and technology, and he’s never read any science fiction. He doesn’t have a college degree. He doesn’t have a high school diploma. He left school in sixth grade so he could help earn money for his family. He’s seen so many changes, he’s not surprised by them anymore. He doesn’t shake his head in disbelief and has no problem with the new wave of thinking. He doesn’t see advancements as causing the loss of moral values - he knows that we make our own choices and the advancements simply give us more options from which to choose. He does lament the lack of common sense, but says that people have always lacked common sense.

At 83, he tends a garden. He cuts and splits wood for the wood-burning stove he installed. He recently added an enclosed porch to the house that he built. Yes, he built the entire house, from digging out the foundation to shingling the roof, and everything in between. He cooks. He cleans. He goes out with his wife every Saturday night and has the family visit every Sunday.

And what does he do in his spare time? He fixes and builds computers.

And then there’s my mom, who was working on a Bachelor’s degree at 65, the same year she retired. (And getting straight A’s.)

So, when I read something that says the older generation is finding it difficult to keep up, I shake my head in disbelief. That’s too much of a generalization - there are people at every age that find it difficult to keep up and there are people at every age that accept what comes and deal with it.

That was so well-spoken that I won't add anything except to say thanks to both Daniel and Paul Harnden for the thoughtful e-mails.

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