As with everyone who came of age in the 20th century, society insisted that Gen X get in line and play by its rules as we became adults. That was the only way we ever were going to succeed . . . or so we were told. After all, as we’ve long since learned, playing by the rules and doing the right thing doesn’t lead to success. Indeed, what happened to those of us who did the right thing? Society betrayed us. Here’s how it did—and why it’s an observation and not a complaint.
In our youth, Gen X was full of individualism and enjoyed challenging the status quo. We were no different than previous and subsequent generations in that respect. But as we entered adulthood, society gave us a clear message: Change your attitude. Don’t break the law. Do the right thing. Be polite, well-mannered, and play by all the rules. If you don’t? You’ll never succeed.
Again, that wasn’t anything any other generation before us hadn’t heard (even as the one before us completely ignored it). So that was fine. We went along with it. At least, a lot of us did.
Some of us went to college. Others chose a different path. We ditched stupid fashions of youth in exchange for professional and adult looks. We worked hard and obeyed the law. No more challenging the status quo and no more trying to shake things up. We tried to do the right thing. And throughout it all, we kept our heads down, took abuse, and paid our dues.
So after all of that, we should be living like kings now. But, of course, we’re not. Instead, we’re scraping every day to get by. Worse still, the people running things are making everything worse on a daily basis.
Illegal aliens are displacing us. Extremists attack us. Terrible people are rewarded instead of punished. And the nation is racing towards destruction. True, this doesn’t just affect Gen X. It literally affects everyone. But remember what I said about how Gen X is scraping just to get by? It’s not just that we have to fight on a constant basis to remain alive; it’s that we aren’t able to do anything to change what’s happening because (relatively speaking) we have no real say in society.
In theory, Gen X should wield a lot of power right now. Yet, (again, relatively speaking) we don’t. At least, those of us who followed the rules don’t. No, instead of running things, the nation has given power to the insane, reprobates, thugs, traitors, terrorists, communists, and the otherwise downright evil. And the country has done so all the while it demonizes those of us who do . . . nothing but work hard and quietly do what is right and good.
Again, this affects more generations than just Gen X. But Gen X is the generation that had the bait-and-switch pulled on us. Society told us, “Do the right thing and we will reward you, while we will punish the people who do the wrong thing.” And then those running society did the exact opposite. They have permanently changed the nation for the worse. And they have made sure we cannot do a thing about it.
Would it make a significant difference if Gen X was in charge—if those of us who did the right thing were running things? Would we change the trajectory of America? Would we be better than those currently in power? Who knows?
But we do know that that we’ll never know.
Like I said at the start, none of this is a complaint. It’s just an observation about truth, which, as always, is a good thing. It’s also a reminder of why I really don’t care to hear any other generations complain about their difficulties.
After all, Gen X has quietly endured our own obstacles and challenges, not the least of which is how society betrayed us. Yet we keep pushing on.
Top Image: Screenshot from “Julius Caesar” (1953).