Reflections on two generations compared
I take up a sentence from the article published on this blog last Friday: the authors wondered if the meaning of our being in the world is a series of mandatory steps (education, work, marriage, children) and ways of being prepackaged, to be followed slavishly to live in society. Masks to look perfect.
My generation (that of zerocalcare to be clear) unfortunately tried to adapt, it did not rebel, it “trusted”. Now it appears at times defeated and embittered (certainly not all of them and not always) but above all it has not grown, only the things we own have grown. Because just this can happen if you walk along pre-established tracks, you become old (not only from a personal point of view) without really growing up.
Yet the feeling of someone like me who belongs to this generation is that, despite not having done enough, we tried, that as teenagers we tried to say “no” but those nos did not seem strong enough in the face of September 11, terrorism, at the Diaz school, at the age of 20 from Berlusconi. And this was our mistake.
We thought we were not strong enough and that the world was not and never would be ours, then one day it became. It happened suddenly and we weren’t ready and we were already grown up, but we didn’t know it. We are certainly not old, we are only adults, and it is time to take responsibility and change things, but in the meantime we must also confront the new generation and tell them that we were wrong. That the ones before us didn’t fool us, we got fooled.
It is not true that you have to have children to be fulfilled women, that there is only one family and you cannot choose it, that you must necessarily marry, that there are useless passions and childish curiosities. There are not only guaranteed jobs (which never really are) or jobs without a future because they are too strange and incomprehensible. But above all, the previous generation will never understand the next, if it uses what it has experienced to judge who comes after, because who comes after is new, it must be. They did it with us and now we are doing it with you.
Newspapers often depict “today’s teenagers” as violent and disbanded using news stories that, although serious, are isolated and say nothing about anyone who has started high school or remote online college, who has faced a pandemic , who have an interest in things that I don’t even suspect exist (and whose name I can’t pronounce).
You’re right, you don’t have to tear along the edges simply because the edges don’t exist. Each one seeks its own solid and at the same time changing identity, increasing and transforming it while running, while living. Then there will no longer be a need for tracks or edges and there will no longer be a need for masks that hide and do not breathe.