Never trust anyone under 30

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Michael Morse ([email protected]), a monthly contributor, is the author of “Let There be Light” and other books and a former captain of the Providence Fire Department.

A spirit of rebellion is in the air; people question authority, resist government excesses, reject forced narratives preached over the airwaves and social media, and follow their instincts. When something goes wrong, we trust common sense gained through experience and question the source, expose frauds, and celebrate the truth – when and where we can find it.

This is a different kind of uprising than in our history. The forces that seek to discredit us and ridicule our beliefs are strong. They are united. They are relentless. They are absolutely certain that their path is right, and no matter what we say or how much we reason, our words fall on deaf ears.

They are our children. It seems like we just can’t trust the under 30s.

This oppressive regime that we have created has succeeded in creating misery because of opportunity, racism from equality, censorship on free speech and oppression on freedom has decided for all of us that pleasure is a thing of the past. Until everyone thinks and behaves the same, there will be no progress. Garage groups that cried out for teenage rebellion in quiet neighborhoods were replaced by lonely kids in basements setting computer beats for other lonely kids to rap on.

A fun night out is no longer a party in the woods, it’s an improved edible protest against something they’ve never experienced, led by people who use them as leverage.

The adults in the room literally fought for freedom, civil rights, freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. We have survived decades of turmoil, upheaval, many changes in political philosophy, and a few wars. We worked for minimum wage, paid off our college loans, rented crappy apartments in crappy neighborhoods, and somehow survived. We figured out how to navigate the world as it was presented to us.

We paid 18% interest on our first mortgages, worked a second job, then another on the weekends, treated those around us with respect, and never considered blaming our elders for our problems.

But more important than all of this; we haven’t forgotten how to have fun. Life can be miserable, and it can be great, all in exactly one place. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. People over 30 know how much fun it can be and have spent a lot of time figuring out how to have it. Nobody gave it to us, we made life fun.

I hope that one day soon, the disgruntled generation will understand things, stop demanding and start living. It is by taking advantage of what those who came before us created that we progress. Being obsessed with righting the wrongs of the past leaves a person stuck in a quagmire of unsolvable rage. Embracing the progress we’ve made while acknowledging the sins of our past, and then working to make the world a better, more harmonious place, leads to a much more fulfilling existence.

The incredible American experience brought us to this moment. We are 330 million people free to lead our lives to the best of our ability. Our republic frees us from the demands of the majority. We don’t have to get along to get along, and that’s the beauty of this place.

Never in history have people from all corners of the earth, of all shapes, colors, beliefs and religious orientations, lived together in peace under the same set of laws. A job for which we are making progress. Engaging in battles between races, genders, generations and genders wastes so much and accomplishes so little.

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