I haven't a clue when I "came of age" because I'm uncertain yet if I have. But I do now realize I've grown old and that occurred in the late 2010s due to a variety of factors. And I watched the young you speak of moving through the territory you describe with a growing sense of dread not only for them but for all of us. Because all of us depend upon them, their strength, their courage, their abilities and their capacity to make the world a better and livable place.

Something we not only failed to do but made an absolute disaster of, which is why they are now so dissolute.

Yes, I know many young people who didn't make it into their 20s or far through. This is like a war of an entirely different nature. And we have been losing it because, once again, we don't understand the weapons we've created or the magnitude of their ability to destroy. And, once again, we are left to our own, old devices in making attempts to salvage what we can.

But, unlike previous "wars," we have little time left. This one isn't ending. And there is no end in sight. The only real weapon we have is hope, real hope, and it is being replaced with despair, often built upon empty promises, at every turn.

The young see this and are drawn either towards those empty promises or towards the despair because they see no choice. And when they discover the ennui at the end of those empty promises, where do they go?

I don't know how different this is as a circumstance from other eras or other cultures. Except I do know, for a fact, that life as we know it is coming to a screeching halt. And that IS different from other eras and cultures (for the most part). And the more we fumble around in this state the less likely we are to be able to positively respond to that. So, the despair will only intensify.

This is why the door is now wide open to both anarchy and authoritarianism. Either of which will destroy us almost instantly.

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of the straightforward & strange. “Women zai shuo ba.” Be useful; share what you can; help others always. Doctor of texts.