If you’re staring at the gaping maw of 70, change is no stranger in your life. I first discovered the insignificance of science when I learned that the human body has 48 chromosomes. A few seasons later I learned that the normal human body has 46; the original data came from studying individuals with Downs syndrome. And just like that, it hit me! Science is fallible. These all-knowing researchers spout their hypotheses like little gods wielding truths, but their “truth” changes with each new discovery. As a population of oldsters, we doubt just about everything and believe in conspiracies everywhere. Eschewing the establishment became a way of life for many of us.
I bring this up because I see with growing alarm the idolization of knowledge, an infatuation with innovation, the marriage of our lives with technology. We boomers remember the mighty pen and paper; we still write in cursive, for goodness sake! We came in peace, but have been met with the constant and utter destruction of simple pleasures. The unfolding of a crisp newspaper with well-written support of profound truths has supplanted by sensational snippets on Yahoo masquerading as journalism. A simply brewed cup of coffee now requires a dictionary at Starbucks. I still haven’t mastered the art of brewing Folgers in a Keurig machine. I admit I meet each new change with dismay, no doubt a sign of my age.
But I firmly believe the nobility of science will one day cause the downfall of our way of life, and where will our children be then? Listen, I read One Second After, and I believe it! Pass on your anachronisms. Your children may need them sooner than they think. Bill and I often lament the loss of knowledge when Aunt Grace and Uncle Paul died. They knew so much about surviving on the land, and we didn’t harvest that knowledge responsibly. Mom and Dad died knowing things about living through the depression, little quirks we found charming, but now we really wish we’d .paid more attention.
So my message is simple. Be strong in the face of ridicule. Wear your age proudly. Relish being out of step with this plastic world surrounding us. Our quirks may one day save our children’s lives. Remember how to live a simple life.