In class the other day, we were instructed to free-write about a possible consequence of what we’re writing about. I am investigating the difference between the fear that our parents’ generation (the baby boomers) felt, versus ours today. What I’ve found is that the way they dealt with their fears has led to an intense anxiety about the state of the world and our futures.
When I thought about the consequences of this, one immediately came to mind– the possible permanence of this anxiety. As issues and conflicts continue to worsen, that means our anxiety will become more intense. Both baby boomer and millennial populations currently coexist. We are able to make the distinction between a less anxious time and the deep anxiety today because this earlier time’s generation still influences policy and social change. However, what happens when both generations no longer live in our country together, and the generation who is plagued with anxiety and fear for the future takes control. Wouldn’t this anxiety transfer to the next? And then the next? It could become somewhat of a norm– and even exacerbate with time and increase in scale.
These days, anxiety is almost a value– you must be anxious in order to be safe. To be aware. To be realistic about the future. This anxiety has become engrained in the way we way we think, react and anticipate. This presents a significant disadvantage for the future.