Prompt 083: What A Difference the '60s Can Make
83. In what ways would your life be different if you were born in the 1960s? Do you think your life would be better, worse, or about the same and why?
If I were born in the '60s...
Let me imagine just for the sake of argument that I was born in 1962. So by that standard, I'd be 15 years old in the year I was actually born: 1977.
I'd probably have stuck with my family a lot more than I have in this life (my real life). This would have a number of ramifications.
- I'd likely be only high-school educated, and working a skilled trade instead of the "professional educator" I am today.
- I'd likely be Republican and unabashedly conservative. I'd likely be a casual racist like the majority of my Pennsylvania coal country relatives.
- I likely would have served in the military. Maybe I would have been stationed in Germany during the 80's. Maybe I'd speak a handful of different languages, which helped me on my tour of duty overseas. I doubt I would be an officer or career military man, but I'd have lifelong connections with those I shared a tour with. I'd be more patriotic, knowing that those who were rebellious or anti-American were just ignorant of the sacrifices made to defend the USA way of life or whatever.
- I'd likely be married with kids. They would be victims of me coping with military life. Maybe I would have a German wife. We'd likely be living in rural Pennsylvania with my old relatives. Still a casual Christian, "Protestant." I'd show up at church on a couple holidays and for funerals, otherwise I'd be "busy." and my wife would defend me by saying things like, "he works hard and has to rest on Sundays for the work week ahead." I'd be a distant father in general.
- If I thought I enjoyed classic rock now - Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, CCR, etc. - I'd have a broader relationship with it in this other life. I doubt I'd listen to classic country, let alone classical orchestra music. I'd probably be one of those Lynrd Skynrd assholes with a rebel flag or something like that.
What I imagine would be radically different from what I have right now. When I reflect on what I have now, versus what I could have had were I born at a different time, I see more advantages to the life I actually have. I think it's easy to take for granted all that I had growing up, and where my family/nurture could have led me were it a different time.
This is not to say that I still haven't messed-up aspects of my own life to this day. However, I can't help but acknowledge that I was given a lot of opportunities growing up, simply due to luck of the draw: my race, my sex, where I was raised, the economic status of my parents, the economic status of the US at the time, my parents' own morals and all they chose to instill in their kids... It was legitimately possible to make a lot of choices for where my life would go, as opposed to being limited - or even forced - to live my life in a certain way due to the life and times of the '60s.
Unfortunately, there's a lot of arrogance supposed in my hypothetical situation, though this isn't uncommon. It's established that most folks have a kind of "confirmation bias" that convinces them that where, how, and when they live right now is a better time than it's ever been or would be. Of course, right now with a pandemic, with a hazardous dipshit as President, with social media dictating much of our lives, with social and political unrest... I do wonder if most of these people will finally acknowledge that the world hasn't turned out to be better in this day and age. Children born today have an overwhelming chance of their life being of a lesser-standard than what their previous generations experienced.
I'm kind of disappointed right now, because I ended things with the woman I had been dating for several weeks. Not much to say about this other than the fact it was a communication breakdown. I'm grateful for the time she and I spent together, as I had a chance to do some brand new things and I feel like she's a very likeable person. It's doubtful she'll need me as a friend, however, since she already has plenty of friends and besides that we have considerably different social lives.
Both of us have anxieties that proved to be too much for us to be patient enough to overcome. I'll just leave it at that, and move on.