Dr Schewe Comments from Readers Page
©By Patricia Feager
I read with interest the article by Dr. Charles Schewe and watched the YouTube of his brief presentation of his book, “Defining Markets, Defining Moments.” What Dr. Schewe had to say, struck a nerve, deeply seated in the silent passages of my youthful consciousness. I am a Baby Boomer; one of five daughters of first generation Americans who were born in the mid 1920’s. My mother and father lived through the Great Depression; they were children of parents who fought in WW1 and came from war torn countries from Europe.
Because of the complexities of war, their countries where they were born were not disclosed or talked about in my lifetime during their broken English dinner conversations. I was taught to listen, and speak when spoken to, which was a rare opportunity to use my voice in a constructive manner about worldly issues. However, my mother’s never-ending stories about her father who had to stand in bread lines to feed a family of eight and the stories that were passed down to me by Catholic Nuns about the concentration camps and how lucky we were to be in parochial schools because of the huge sacrifices by our parents were never ending, unimaginable, to a point of feeling suffocated by their own personal interrupted lives as children.
To their credit, my elders passed down their values, which are still currently engrained in my mind, heart and soul. They included: Discipline, Obedience, Loyalty, Hard Work, Integrity, Honesty, Gratitude, Education, Accountability, Charity, Advancement, Art, Courage, Spiritual Devotion, Empathy, and Financial Independence achieved through living a frugal life.
With the advent of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, followed by Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, coupled with the War in Viet Nam, the Cold War and the threats of Nuclear War, including the civil rights movement, as a child, I learned by listening and watching what was going on in the media and I experienced, first hand racial rioting in the streets of Chicago. Mayor Richard J. Daley, Martin Luther King Jr., Jessie Jackson and the Black Panthers were household names, in a democratic society. I learned that trust was not easily acquired by those who I was taught to look up to because they were elders with authority in leadership positions and the political Armageddon of segregation and the fight for integration beginning with busing students to my own High School along with others completely changed the fabric of diversity here in America. Since the intellectual barbarism against people of a different color seemed to be evenly distributed across the United States, I learned to live in fear and cope with the realities of a changing society.
Over the years, I have been programmed to solve all my worldly problems that directly impacted me using the values I learned from my parents, grandparents, teachers and employers from the businesses where I worked for minimum wages in Corporate America and it shifted into my life as a single woman, who bore the responsibility of raising children at an early age, after becoming widowed by a man who served in Viet Nam. What I learned then was there were no rewards for serving and sacrificing one’s life in the military, nor were there benefits to the widowed with children, except for social security benefits with limitations. Picking myself up by the bootstraps and living a life of honesty and hard work while educating me and my children became my passion and life’s work. Even now, that the children are grown, age discrimination taught me that self-employment as a REALTOR® was my only hope, which is still a constant reminder to take nothing for granted because the reality is, every day is a day of unemployment, unless I achieve a successful closing There is no question that living a hard life, enmeshed with strong moral and ethical values can make you stronger, and living within your means can result in a life of abundance blessed by the gifts bestowed upon all of us through faith, family, friends, and the love of nature. Sustainability is the key to survival.
Aging has its challenges. I look at myself in the mirror and I no longer see the youthful face and body I came to know so intimately. Living a healthy life, free of prescription drugs that do not cure, but adds to the financial responsibility of the aging, or changes the outward appearance of an aging face through Botox is a personal choice that needs to be considered and evaluated with cost/benefit analysis. For me, I can’t go down that path. There are alternatives and education is knowledge. Knowledge is power.
Clearly, a rudimentary understanding of how the body changes with age or when disease takes over the human body and mind is a reality that deserves attention because the cost of health care and what you get for health coverage (or not), impacts everyone, and society at large. No one is exempt when it comes to health issues. Ultimately, our bodies break down, changes, deteriorates, even skin stretches and shifts like the foundation of an old building. Our eyes and sometimes the mind become clouded like defected glass but ironically, most people stay true to the values instilled since birth.
Paying attention to everything, from the internal to the external things going on inside our body, mind, heart and soul (if you believe there is a soul) is important. To me, there is nothing more heartbreaking than the neglect of the elderly, a child, any human being or creature on earth. The assault on human life, including the planet and the impact it has on the environment by corrupted human beings is a travesty beyond measure.
Those haunting words by the elders who reigned when I was just a child that instilled fear in me will never be forgotten. I remember those girls who I went to High School with who fought for freedom and educational rights that should be available to everyone, regardless of race, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, color, or age.
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the day of my birth. Although I am older, I still desire the same things I wanted when I was young. I want peace and transformation in our society to be more positive. I’m a firm believe that the Baby Boomers changed the course of history and there’s still a lot more work ahead of us. Politicians should remember they were elected by the people to serve the people and not cause harm. We were all created equal and the worldly pleasures belong to everyone to enjoy until eternity. Happiness does not belong exclusively to politicians, the rich and famous.
I believe the legacy that we pass on to our children and generations to come should be more positive. Political corruption, insane criminal behavior paid for at the expense of law abiding citizens, neglect to our children and the elderly, fraud, plagiarism, unfair age discrimination with regards to labor and financial security, bad housing initiatives by lending institutions which causes people to lose their homes, or the impact of tragedy of a Wall Street Holocaust is an attack on all those who live and die.
All people matter. What’s going on in the world is critical to know. Out of the bravery of those who fought for freedom, educational rights, diversity, and peace of mind, personal growth and the simple joy of learning how to live successfully must be available to all, regardless of race, creed, age, or color.
From the beating of my Baby Boomer’s heart, I know, I am luckier than generations before me who never knew how useful and important and powerful the INTERNET is, because advanced technology can change our decision making process for the greater good.
When do we get to define aging for ourselves? Chloe