Generational differences.

The older you are, the more likely you are to feel a sense of community.  But the younger you are, the more likely you are to feel you should be doing more to help the community.

Why?  The longer you’ve lived in a community, the more likely you are to feel a part of it, feel confident about your place and role in it, even feel ownership of it, which makes you more resistant to change in the community.  Like higher density.  Like 17-foot-high granny units in everyone’s back yard.

You may also feel that you’ve done your part, made your contribution to your community, and now it’s time for the young’uns to step up.  Or maybe you’re still willing, but your ability to contribute is diminishing.  As friends and relatives age, I’ve seen how time-consuming, let alone debilitating, chronic illness can be, a shut-in existence enlivened only by frequent scheduled and unscheduled trips to the doctor.

Can a generation be justified in feeling ownership?  If you’ve been here for fifty years, as I will have been June 1, it’s easy to assume you’ve earned certain rights and privileges–“this is my town”–but you’d be wrong.  It wasn’t my town when I moved here–that was made clear–and it’s not my town today.  Nor does it belong to the people who came here five minutes ago.  It’s no one’s town, and everyone’s town.

It’s time for everyone to put those sharing skills they learned in kindergarten to work.  Now that would help the community.

copyright © John Fyten 2017



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