The Never-Ending “Hand-Basket” Talk

All my life, I’ve heard it: “we’re going to hell in a handbasket!”

The “we” varies.

The country. Western civilization. The world. The A.L. East.

When I read history, I find the greatest reasons for a little optimism, because we so easily forget how many times we’ve seen decline, decay and predictions for the end game that never came true. Even though, someday, it may.

Recently, I was debating this outlook with someone exactly half my age. This was right after the WSJ/NORC survey that measured a drop off in support for things like patriotism and religious faith among millenials and Gen Zers.

This guy says to me, “It figures you’re optimistic, that’s how you Baby Boomers and Generation X people always are!”

Technically, I’m X, not a boomer. But it made me think:

Are you your generation, or are you your age? Obviously, you are more than both of those things, but which one is more predictive?

If we can qualify a generation (big if) to, for example, care less about patriotism or freedom now, does that mean they always will?

If so, they are their generation, period, done.

On the other hand, and I think this is much more likely, will today’s 20-something feel much differently about God and country after 20 or 30 years of experiences, and being 20-30 years closer to his mortality?

If so, they are their age, more than their generation.

It might mean all the generation-panicking is pretty pointless.

What do you think?

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