Friday, May 28, 2010

The times they are a changing

I was reading an article with my English student tonight about a 17 yr old who made mistakes with her student loans. She owes over $100,000 just to have a diploma from NYU. I guess no one told her about JCs and transferring.

It led me to think about the differences in ages. I'm 29.  Her mistakes are so obvious to me.

I remember one of my favorite classes at UCSD. It was law and psych. The class was a forum for arguing. That's all we did.  And we had a wonderful professor who wasn't afraid of saying bullshit or shut up if need be.

One of his questions was about charging a 16 yr old as an adult for adult crimes such as murder.  Of course we agreed. He should be charged as an adult.  So he asked, is there any difference between yourself as 16 and 18 year old. Of course. 16 and 20?  18 and 20?  Sadly, while you feel a 16 yr old should know the difference between right and wrong, murder and life, there is a difference in a person between 16 and 18, 18 and 20, 22 and 24, so on and so forth.

At a young age of 29, I might as well be a 100 yrs older than myself at 20.  I can't even fathom my ideas at that age. And you must take into account that our rational thought isn't even fully developed until after 25.

So what does that mean?  Are we free of responsibility before that point?  Should we be sheltered for longer or shelter for less time?

I'm in a 3rd world country, where daily activity reminds us who is fortunate and who isn't,  and I've seen many moments where early 20 somethings have had to be reminded that others are not in as good of a situation as they are.  I honestly felt my kids would automatically be raised with this sense that they should be thankful.  Hell, in the year 2010 they have a stay at home mother who has a blog as a hobby.  They aren't begging on the street.

I'm realizing that regardless of where you are and/or what you are taught, it takes a level of maturity to absorb the social information around you. 

At 26, when my oldest son was born, I didn't have half the sense I have now. I'm guessing that in 2 yrs, when my youngest is almost the age of my oldest now, I'll feel the same way. I finally understand when and how the distance between young adult children and their parents is created.  It's not that they are old and disconnected, it's that they are older, wiser, and connected, not just to the moment, but to all previously lived moments. 

Here are the lyrics to a song that reminds me of this and everything:

The Times They Are A-Changin' Lyrics by Tracy Chapman

Come gather round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth saving
Then you'd better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
For the times, they are a changing

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pens
And keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon, for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no telling who that it's naming
FOR the loser will be later to win
For the times, they are a changing

Come senators, congressmen, please head the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragging will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times, they are a changing

Come mothers and fathers through out the land
And don't criticize what you can't understand
Your sons and your daughter are beyond your command
Your old role is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a changing

The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be the past
The order is rapidly fading
 And The first one now will later be last
For the times, they are a changing

1 comment:

  1. originally done by Bob Dylan.... and the more they change the more they stay the same.