Letter to the editor: There is a serious dimension to generational differences | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: There is a serious dimension to generational differences

Ralph Ragsdale

A common expression today is, “It’s a generational thing.” The remark typically follows a comment about the strong beliefs of the new generation when the positions are starkly different from those of their elders. Each generation has experienced such change in politics, fashion, behavioral patterns and beliefs. Generational differences are mostly harmless, even when elders are aghast at some of them, e.g., rap music. It seems natural for the young to consider the ideas of the elderly as old fashioned and no longer relevant. The exception may be the Chinese people, who are said to believe that the elderly are inherently wise and are to be listened to regarding the proper way of life.

In my view, there is a serious dimension to generational differences. There is a natural desire for us to want our grandchildren and their children to enjoy the freedoms we cherish. Yet, some of our schools are being accused of deemphasizing teaching the foundation of our democracy, the advantages we have and the periodic need to defend our country against those who would convert us to their system.

It is easy to proclaim that patriotism is simply brainwashing or propaganda. When our deepest thinkers compare our system with all others, the need to protect what we have becomes clear. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,” as Frederick Douglass said. Furthermore, it is a cop-out to point to those unjustified wars in our past and use those as examples of why we need to reject the need for future conflicts to preserve our way of life. It is not that simple. I do not believe that subjugating us, beheading us, placing us in concentration camps and torturing us are God’s will and should be accepted without a struggle. Do you?

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