Friday, February 03, 2006


My older son came over and helped me out with a moving project the other day. As we were preparing to part, he came over to my truck and asked, "Were you bored when you were my age?". He went on to explain that he was tired of the routine in Greensboro and thought that he needed a change in his life. I explained to him that I believe that he needs to enlist in the military. I explained the benefits of travel, training, retirement, etc. that he could reap from military service. I urged him to go see the recruiter who calls the house on a regular basis. I will have to wait a while to see if he takes my advice. Stay tuned!

BUT, his question started me thinking, which is always dangerous. Was I bored at 19 or 20? If I was, it has completely skipped my memory. When I was 19, I worked 60 hours or so a week at the Waffle House. I worked the midnight shift and met enough interesting people that I still have stories to tell today. Many who are reading this have heard some of these stories. I haven't really been bored since I left high school. I guess skipping college eliminated that extra four years of boredom that I could have experienced. More on this when we cover ADHD and me.

I hear lots of young people at work tell me that they are bored. I guess that by the time they reach 18, their parents have spent so much time and money keeping them entertained that having to provide their own entertainment leaves them stumped. Maybe this explains the popularity of rap music. You can't be bored with someone calling you names, cussing at you, and celebrating the degradation of human life. But I digress, back to the topic.

I told my son that one of my few regrets in life was not serving in the military. As my only friend once told me about Vietnam, "I can't believe that with all those guns, explosives, and big power equipment, you weren't on the first plane over there after high school." I always tell people, "The government is smarter than you think, they wouldn't take me." My wife worries that our son would end up in Iraq. I pointed out that he would probably be safer there than in a nightclub in Greensboro, a convenience store at midnight, or driving 80 MPH down US 29.

So Gilbert, what's the point of all this?
1. We have spent so much time and money entertaining this generation that maybe going to fight a war or preparing to fight a war is the only thing left for them to do. God knows that I hate to quote a leftist like Andy Rooney, but he once said "If you can survive, war is the greatest experience that a man can have." Maybe Andy had been bored.
2. Like I would hope that every other parent does, I want my children to achieve a higher level of success than I have. They will have to solve the boredom thing on their own. I don't understand it.


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