Musings of the Lost Generation

What is my purpose in this life? What am I meant to do? How am I supposed to complement humanity?

I am expecting. Soon, and my child will be born. Is it my sole purpose as a woman? To get pregnant, carry a child and make sure it is born healthy and happy. Is that my contribution? Am I meant to, in this way, continue the survival of human race? Is there something more specific, more concrete ascribed tome to complete? Is there any noble cause I should aspire to?

I have always thought that kindness, humility, humbleness, love and hard work are important. I grew up with that belief. Everyone around me had something to teach me about these morals. My parents, grandparents, some of my neighbors, my idols. And then I grew up.

Many things changed in the meantime. Some pleasant and unpleasant circumstances dictated the evolution of global events and events in the country I call my home. Politics, economy, industry, fashion changed. The evolution is inevitable. Somehow I knew that and still, it surprised me. Modern technology brought some drastic changes. With the burst of all those strange technological devices, I got a bit lost. I wasn’t sure what the important things were anymore. The evolution brought so much newness. Newness in all spheres of life. Those born before that new modern evolution tried living the old way. Lifestyle most of them kept was old-fashioned and outdated. It was fed by morals and tradition. Respect for these was inevitable for them. Well, not all of them. Some of them tried to adapt. But that adaptation was not simple. Life was easier for those born during that evolution and after it. They were the children of new millennia, of new technology, of new systems, new beliefs, fresh views, modern thinking, acceptance, affirmation, career oriented, with recognition directed solution. They were smart in a new way, wise as once upon a time only the elderly people were, and curious for everything new. They looked at the world with different eyes, saw possibilities where old generations saw nothing, were ready to compromise everything, old traditions, beliefs and customs, and accept the brand new way of life and thinking.

Where once shame dwelt, experiment, curiosity and acceptance appeared. What was silently neglected in the old times, it was proudly promoted in the modern era. And everything seemed possible. All experiments, trials, tests were allowed. On emotional, business, physical, political, economic level. But people seemed so confused. Our parents and grandparents led simpler lives, and therefore, they appeared to be superior. Simplicity brought them happiness, somehow. Maybe they had to deal with a lot of taboos, tradition, customs, inherited beliefs, rules, but they didn’t mind. They were simply happy. And look around! I don’t see many happy people around. I see a lot of lost and loopy people, both the representatives of my generation and older ones as well as the new generation members.

Few days ago, in a park I watched children playing. A little blonde girl in a beautiful dress had a lot of toys and played with them. Those were expensive toys, and she played with them for a while. But soon after, she became bored and ran to steal some other children’s toys. Then, she started crying and asking her mom to go and buy her some new toys, probably again expensive, which will serve her another couple of days before she gets bored with them again. And the mom will obey. She will probably buy her a lot of sweets as well, chocolates, biscuits, cookies, and soon, she will push her to attend a lot of interesting courses, foreign languages, ballet, violin or cello lessons, extra math classes, yoga, singing, dancing. And before the little girl grows up, she will find herself in the sea of confusion. Uncertainty of what she wants, what she likes and what she enjoys might bring her into that state of total bewilderment. She might continue experimenting, trying different things, asking herself what her role is and what she is supposed to do, but she might never experience that superior happiness of old generations.

And again going back to me. I did experience the happiness of childhood, I had homemade toys made of wood, cartoon, old clothes, cardboard boxes. I inherited some toys of my older cousins and I got some for my birthdays, Christmas or New Year. But I couldn’t get whatever I wanted and I didn’t often ask my parents to buy me what I saw in shop windows. I didn’t eat a lot of chocolates, biscuits and cookies bought from the shops, because my mum and my grandma made sure to bake a lot of sweets at home. Anyway, I experienced happiness of simplicity, street games, playing, purity, naivety. Only once I grew up and became a teenager, and entered that transition of eras, I started losing track of my life. I started questioning my decisions, my beliefs, my morals, my happiness. I am looking for my purpose in life. And I am asking myself, is my purpose to just be happy, and do what I want, selfishly fulfilling my desires, needs and demands, stubbornly ignoring my inner voice which tells me than there’s more to life than that, and that I should not be the center of the universe.

Should I follow the new generation’s goals of total indulgence into things that one doesn’t really enjoy but which are “in” and “liked”? Should I step into that modern era of superficiality and forget what I was thought as a child? Or should I go back to the times before I was born and try to bring back the importance chivalry, honor and bravery? Where do I belong? And how am I supposed to find my path? The path that would fulfill my role on this planet?

I find it hard to answer to all these questions, and if I start pursuing any of the two worlds’ ideals: the modern world’s self-indulgence and pleasure and middle ages’ nobility and courage, I am still lost. I do belong to that lost transitional generation born in the twentieth century and living in the twenty-first century. I do belong to the generation which was taught certain things and had to get used to some other things which reality brought. And yes I do believe deep inside what Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” And only if I keep my beliefs and follow them, those I grew up with, I think I would find my purpose in this life.

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