Thanksgiving dinner was an occasion for learning. My sister always gathers an “eclectic” group.
My grandniece is attending an Iowa Junior College on a soccer scholarship. She brought two teammates with her. One is from Australia and one from Arizona. Poised and articulate, all three are impressive but the culture barrier with me was immense. None of the music I mentioned, movies, movie directors, or movie actors I mentioned were known to them. Such a fossil I am.
My niece is a long term public health worker in Nevada. She isn’t in a cozy office but out on the gritty streets dealing with the VD and HIV population. Gutsy woman. I often disagree with her but respect her opinions. She is someone who has walked the walk her entire adult life.
My sister keeps a defacto halfway house. Usually has two or three people staying there that have fallen through the cracks of society and are trying to make it back. She is no pushover, it is a clean and sober house and all pull their weight. For me it brings into focus how hard it can be at the bottom of the barrel and how few people are around like my sister who willing to give a hand up.
Other than a brief conversation with my niece, I avoided politics. What didn’t escape my notice is the young people gathered have always had Obama in their life. Trump represents a yawning unknown for them, and they have grown up in a Progressive dominated environment. They remind me of Army draftees, circa 1963, thrust in a world they didn’t choose to join, resentful and full of fear.
The ones at dinner are not special snowflakes. In fact, sports are their way up the ladder and it is damn hard work. They have my total respect. What is disheartening is their shared culture and my culture is nearly alien.
For that, I have no immediate answer.