Aging: Living with less now serves future generationsAre you hearing more about sustainability these days too?
By: Bernie Hughes, The Daily Telegram
Are you hearing more about sustainability these days too? I certainly have. Are we earth inhabitants going to have the smarts and the self-discipline to contain ourselves so that our earthly resources will be available for our offspring many years in the future? Our resources once appeared vast enough to last forever! Not any more!
Now we are threatening the continuing availability of vital life components: space, potable water, fertile earth, etc., etc. Not only are we depleting resources but the waste we discard is becoming a serious disposal problem. Where do we put it? What is the usual reply for that: “Anywhere but our back yard!” Can that continue?
Easy for us to list the things that need to be done: Contain population growth and be less greedy in our acquisitions. We see that as a very reasonable expectation for others to do. But what about us? Those of us in the older generation note the multitude of possessions that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren receive. We all once lived with much less. Can we do it again?
Can we get over our attempting to acquire more and more possessions? It really isn’t funny to proceed as if we truly believe the old saying that the one who dies with the most toys — wins! I can hear some of my younger family members, hearing me with this message, thinking, “Isn’t that what old farts always do,” try to tell the younger generation what’s what? But we have been and will continue hearing more and more about this inevitability. And we will be getting that word from experts.
One source plies temptations that won’t bother folk up in Northern Wisconsin. Rupert Murdock is starting a new magazine, WSJ, for the luxury market featuring such items as $15,000 handbags, million dollar autos, $150 million estates, $20 million trips to space and $300 million yachts. Dream on!
One surprise for me with this column is the response I’ve had from women. I could conclude, and rightly so, that women are more apt to pass along compliments than men. Knowing one man very well, myself, I know that older men often find it more difficult to pay compliments. We are more apt to be suspicious and wary of compliments. Men are often apt to think the compliment is only a lead in before asking a favor. One friend, Gene, fellow member on the Superior school board years ago, when hearing a complimentary remark, would ask, “Where’s the hook?”
In any case, one of the women who said she especially liked my idea of ending with humor, told me that she’d appreciate more of those where the ladies come out on the winning side. And so I’ve selected a few and hope they meet the criteria:
A couple is lying in bed. The man says, “I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world.” The woman’s reply: “I’ll miss you.”
The next one really fits me:
How do you keep your husband from reading your e-mail?
Answer — Rename the mail folder “instruction manual.”
“Did you give your wife that talk on economy that we talked about?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Did you get any results?”
“I have agreed to give up smoking.”
And an older couple celebrating their 40th were told by the good fairy that they could both have any one wish. The wife wished for a trip around the world and the tickets were immediately in their hands. The husband wished for a female companion 30 years younger and whoosh, he turned 90.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D., is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at Bernie1@cpinternet.com.