It strikes me that 21st Century humanity is happily cocooned in it’s inexplicable state of solitude and thus far less detached to from the communes that fellow retirees and I were once-upon-a- time brought up in – the dominant culture today reeks of isolationism.
Now, if my lines come across as a draconian case of preventing people from getting what they want in life – then I must stress that this is not the circumstance at all.
Gone are the times of the alleged ‘good old’ days’ that I have alluded to, that of which saw my parents patiently explaining the content of the Catholic catechism to my brother, sister and I, as we enthusiastically encircled the fireside in our kitchen – together with family picnics in the park and our annual caravan holidays on the Scottish borders, to say little of leaving one’s front door unlocked and remaining content in the knowledge that we had trusty neighbours who would ‘keep-an-eye-out for anything untoward occurring within our home – it never did!
Despite these rose-coloured reflections of yesteryear, I could never imagine having to return to the violent angst of a belt-wielding father – or to facing pre-eminent priests and nuns who employed canes and straps to whip their respective charges with as much zeal and purpose as they did when fingering their rosary beads, thus delivering evil retribution on a brutal scale, the same that mercifully has no place in our educational faculties today…or so I choose to believe!
Yet, irrespective of the minus’s pertaining to that epoch, there existed too a plethora of plusses, essential ingredients that resounded with the (once-believed) irreplaceable values and standards of an earlier generation.
From the numerous retired friends and acquaintances I have, many are indeed becoming more disenchanted about enduring within a nation that is slowly starting to forget them – each recognising that the bulk of civilisation today is wholeheartedly hell-bent on fleeing from a culture that is considered antiquated and without place.
In their considered opinion, our fast eroding values our now being elbowed-out as mankind chases happiness and fulfilment from the insignificant, insensitive, destructive and perilous aspects of life – well-divorced from the criterion that made our nation notably compete with the best of them – undermining too one’s idea of what responsible human functionality is all about.
As I wrestle with some of the observations of retirees such as myself, I do muse on the fact that maybe we are each guilty of overlooking the shortcomings of our own generation, ergo; the permissive era of the sixties, where we ignorantly emerged from our meagre tenement homes and aggressively engaged in marches to ban the bomb, voiced opposition to the war in Vietnam, threw rotten eggs at parliamentary representatives visiting the Scottish capital city, then dropped-out, smoked dope and hazily participated in all that the sexual revolution could offer.
My parents were, rightfully so in some respects, utterly appalled by it all, apart from an elderly (retired) single aunt of mine, I believe to this day that she was a little jealous and possibly slightly miffed that the dawn of that then new age had not evolved during her own youth of the 1920s.
But the entire point of the sexually permissive age was solely to shock both parental and governmental authority of the period, that of which saw my father frequently yelling;
“These hippies today don’t know they are bloody born!”
With that in mind and in-keeping with a teenage pledge, never to sound like him at any stage during the course of my lifetime, I intend to reconfigure my attitude and make these retirement years the happiest and all-embracing passage of my entire existence – a more plausible option in one’s quest for a deeply loving, hugely understanding and more purposeful period of superannuating – providing one’s grown children never inform one that they intend to embark on a career in politics…of course.