It just dawned on me that I have no idea how my younger friends (under 25) are processing the horrible tragedy that befell us in Boston. This generation either grew up with 9/11 being a “boogeyman” of sorts, having memories of being pulled out of school or shielded from the news and some of which lost parents or friend’s parents to the Twin Towers. That’s a lot of fear and molding of a mind for a young person, and this same generation has now dealt with a semi-consistent fear of large-scale tragedies and massacres as well as a lifetime of war. I have to wonder how this will affect this generation and I believe this will be a great divider between Generation X vs Generation Y & the Millenials.
I fall into the end of Generation X which has a very wide gap, early 1960s to early 1980s. I obviously have a lot more in common with Generation Y, but one thing I don’t have in common is the fear of an unknown “terror.” You see, I was 23 when 9/11 happened. I had just opened my first store in a small town in Texas. I was woken up by my roommate and we both watched live what appeared to be an accident turn into an attack when the second plane hit the towers. We were glued to the tv when news broke about the Pentagon and the flight that was downed. But horrible tragedy was new to us. Before this we saw the end of Communism and the Berlin Wall. We didn’t do nuclear drills in class like our parents had, we just chilled and played and got to be kids. After this event, there was definitely a period where I was enraged, willing to join the military, etc. etc., and that is truly where the “terrorists” win. Luckily for me I was with a very logical and peaceful woman, and shortly after we moved to Boston.
To this day I have no idea who the terrorists are. Are they “freedom hating infidels?” Are they secret societies of people looking to create a one world government? Are they random sociopaths? Are they depressed high school kids? Are they defense manufacturers trying to make money? Are they power hungry bureaucrats? At this point I think there’s probably been at least one of each of these examples and unfortunately there are probably a few more unidentified examples in the future.
All I know is this. This is not the world I want to live in. No amount of security will ever make us secure. The only thing that unites and frees people is hope of a better life. This is why people have been immigrating to the United States since its inception. If everyone in this country knew they could get a job that fulfilled them, and they could give their kids a better life than they had, and their neighbor looked out for them, and their government protected them from harmful foods and cleaned the water, and we advanced as a species and they had adequate healthcare and old people could retire and young people could play and get educated, and bad people were punished or rehabilitated and there was justice and equality for all — people would not want to kill other people and those who did would be taken care of WELL before things got this out of hand.
This is not a pipe dream. I know this is hard to believe in light of everything that has happened but we have gotten off track and we can always get back on. We as a people are more informed and more intelligent than ever. We can connect with each other in a variety of ways and evil people need to know that We The People, are ultimately in charge. We don’t need leaders, we need GOOD leaders. The Occupy movement was a major sign of this possible world. It was a place where everyone was welcome and had a position to be heard. And what happened to it? It was crushed. But why? Why would a peaceful organization without a defined power structure be crushed in a Democracy? That’s the Trillion Dollar question. Because our Democracy is no longer fair. Rules have been placed to favor a few. The American dream is nothing more than that…a dream.
In the wake of major tragedies like this you will see certain “leaders” rise to the top. Are they playing to your emotions or are they actually looking out for you – the person they promised to serve? Who will take advantage of this horrible situation for personal gain? What are you doing to protect yourself – not only physically, but mentally? What are the talking heads actually saying and subsequently meaning?
All of these tragedies hit close to home because I’m an American and I love this country and only want the best for it, but this one poked a new nerve. This was my home. A place that I moved to knowing absolutely no one but my wife, and now the majority of our friends and family live there. A place that I built a business in, a place that provided me with a community, a place I owned a home.
Bostonians are a no-nonsense lot. They are slow to warm up to you but the second you are in, good luck escaping their grasp – not that you would want to. It’s a massive city that feels like a small town. It’s a city were the hardest dude gives up his seat on a train, not to a woman (because they are equals) but definitely to a handicapped person or the elderly. It’s a city that locals verbally hate but the second someone agrees with them who isn’t local, they get their ass beat. It’s a city that makes you question everything and find your true self.
The Proletariat/Thatsthehookup family lost a member to this tragedy. Our hearts go out to C.R. and all of his family members and friends. Our own BigJus is close to this tragedy and we are with him in person and spirit.
Guys, all I can say is this. Remember the way this country is run currently. Really hone in on all the details. It won’t be long until the old guard will pass on and it will be our turn and then your turn to create a world that we want to live in. I know the world I envision for us and I know the world you envision for yourselves. Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Love is so much more beautiful & sustainable than hate. And as always, peace.