Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Love and Generations

Different generations have had different ideas of - and experiences with - love.

The World War II generation started their matches with love at first sight, and remained with one another their whole life. Their matches produced wholesome family existence. Love initiated; responsibility maintained; and the result was a generation that was in every way a success.

The baby boomers dreamed about love, but they were more into themselves. Being into themselves, they later decided that love was about such things as "seeking external validation," which they decided was wrong, as one was to validate - and love - oneself. This may have been the case for them; but it is not universal human reality. Love is not about what you feel about yourself but about what you feel about the other person. As baby boomers were branded with generational narcissism, any number of people started claiming that love, which has been one of their ideals, was narcissistic as well. This was a completely wrongful conclusion. Once again, love is not about what you feel about yourself. It is about what you feel about the other person.

For Generation X, love was a completely inappropriate ideal. They wanted no such thing. They wanted careers; they wanted a working society; they wanted stability and structure. In their view, love was a distraction; according to some, even something that was in violation of social peace. Not only did they not want love, but they thought that it was a bad thing. Unfortunately many of their attitudes have found a way to express themselves in society.

By the time my generation came along, love was under attack from all directions. Disappointed baby boomers, cynical-minded Gen-Xers, vicious feminists, predatory lawyers, New Age psychologists, you name it. Whatever matches were made, were under a lot of attack and under a lot of disadvantage. The people who were most interested in love were in one or another bind. This of course reinforced the false claim that something was wrong with love, or with wanting to love and be loved.

The millenials appear to be of quite intense temperament. As teenagers, they pioneered the emo movement; and for them love is very much an appropriate pursuit. Maybe the mistakes of baby boomers and gen-Xers can be forgotten, and love can again blossom. Not everyone will want it, and that is to be expected. But those who do want it should be able to have it.


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