“I feel sorry for the young generation”

I call my grandmother regularly. She is the last of her generation that I have left. It’s always exciting exchanging ideas with me and I really enjoy it. What she says often has a lasting effect and at the same time is truly inspiring. I think this is mainly due to her advanced age. She seems very calm and collected to me. She survived one husband and has devotedly cared for her for the past few years, as she previously bore him three children and raised them.

He spent his childhood in postwar Germany and parts of France. She got married early and moved from the big city to the small town. So she’s been through a lot. When we talk on the phone, we talk about everything that’s going on, how we’re doing, and what we think about it. With her, I can be honest and say what’s on my mind, even though I know I’m often alone, at least in our family. She accepts him and doesn’t judge him, on the contrary. Sometimes secretly she thinks the same way and laughs. I like that. She no longer has time for the superficial and she takes many things with humor; sometimes she is very sarcastic, but I find that particularly funny.

new normal

When we spoke on the phone last Sunday, we talked about the floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. He wanted to know if everyone is okay and who he’s talked to so far. Our family lives in some of the affected regions, among other places. She seemed very calm and had already accepted for herself that this is normal from now on and that we will experience more such storm catastrophes. Climate change is to blame, or rather: we humans are the ones who cause it.

I told him that for the last few days I had been thinking about how brave it really is to bring a child into the world. At least that’s how it feels to me. Maybe also because I’ve been feeling a little threatened for quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, nothing has been the same since the pandemic began. We have been living a new normality for 1.5 years, which is determined by the waves and the incidence figures. The headlines are dominated by Corona every day. It is exhausting and exhausting. Freedom to travel yes, freedom to travel no. Lock/off/transition lock… blah blah blah.

It’s so annoying and people can say that. Especially when you are self-employed, there is even less planning security and existential pressure. And many, many others feel the same or much worse. I am aware of that.

He was born in 1936. I was speechless. and now to think

What I really want to say: My grandmother got the idea and her conclusion was that she felt sorry for “my generation.” Because the pandemic, thanks to confinement, isolation and loneliness, has brought out the worst in many people. Society is -at least that’s how it feels on social networks- divided and people only attack, criticize, mock, insult and discuss everything to the death. I felt everyone against everyone. That’s really a shame, when we should be getting closer, especially in times of crisis.

Humans would have been able to observe this wonderfully again. The flood and its devastating consequences unleashed a wave of solidarity. My grandmother particularly emphasized that, the team spirit. Being alone all the time in fall/winter and spring was really torture for her, she missed her friends and us, her family. Many older people were like this and unfortunately it still is. Thanks to the vaccine, a certain normality has returned, while the news is already talking about the next wave in the fall.

Delta is coming!

And then the elections in September. The weather also has some surprises in store, as seen in Bavaria and Saxony over the weekend (July 18/19). Oh yeah, and neighboring countries like the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Switzerland are also affected. Not to mention the wildfires in the US and the tornadoes in the Czech Republic.

I used the acquaintances argument. “We are too many anyway, I won’t have children” smiled. When they ask me now if I’m not starting to think about having children, I usually answer: “How? I don’t even know when I’ll be able to travel again or see various people without pangs of conscience, let alone continue with my ‘normal old everyday life’.

She could understand that very well. She also said that she has lived her own life and is old, but she also realizes that nothing is certain right now. Kind of funny to hear from a woman who was born before World War II and spent her youth in a devastated country during reconstruction.

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