Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gen Y

I did not write this and do not know where it came from, I thought it was well written and had a good message that I'd like to share with you.

"Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologised and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

The older woman was right - her generation didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.

But  we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as books covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling. Then we were able to personalise our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts --wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we have on TV, or radio, in the house --not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Tasmania. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower than ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then? There is a lot to be grateful for no matter what your age or experience."

I am a gen-y, I was born in the year 1990, I am still considered very young, I have a great stereotype with being born in this time frame.

Just like the stereotype projected onto this older lady, the stereotype of lazy gen-y is on me. Stereotypes are hurtful but so ever present in our society, they aren't considered stereotypes anymore. They've become our first thoughts when we look at someone young, or see someone old driving a car or someone smoking. 

You never know the circumstances around that person and who they are. It's sad to think that as a nation we are always trying to shift the blame on to another generations or on to a different sociological group, yes we working class folk do hate against those you have more money then we. Though we do not know what they did to get there and how much effort they put in or what they do with all their extra money.

We need to stop pointing the finger or trying to shift the blame, if we did, we'd probably be a lot closer to finding some answers to our questions.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people in a low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his heart." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

-Romans 12:9-21

Linking this post of up Jess for her weekly   


  1. Excellent post Kate. I got that Green Thing thing in an email a while ago and I actually had it in my drafts folders to post about one day!

    You make an excellent point about stereotypes too, it's so easy to look at someone and just make an assumption and lump them in to one group or another but it really does no one any favours.

  2. Exactly, we could be missing so many talents and gifts out their because our assumptions and stereotypes prevent us from getting to know people who we think aren't worth our time. Jesus did and he changed so many lives! We got given this while at camp in January for our leaders devo and I thought it just had a really good point about how, while believing we are being more education and "wiser" then someone else but really we are just being arrogant. Food for thought!

  3. I often think it would be lovely to go back to the "good old days" when things were much simpler. I love this. We are certainly not doing much to help the environment today, making products that barely last 3 years before they're tossed away and replaced with new items. Back then things lasted for 20-30 years, not 3.

    1. That's very true, they did more for the environment and future back then just because they knew that money was not as easy to come by and you couldn't just buy something new when it was broken!

  4. What a brilliant post - thank you I enjoyed this.


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