The 1950s shaped our parents who pushed the idea of good hair, good skin, and the inability to fail. In fact, they told us that we could do anything if we "willed" it to happen. So the tone deaf child could become a musician, and the blind-as-a-bat student could become that astronaut. They forgot to mention that that formula was really only designed for a small section of society, and that maybe concentrating on what you were good at might be a wiser path to follow. In fact, they set us up to fail. Very few of us would become doctocrs, laywers, or preppy housewifes with 2.5 kids. I mean, even being a minority was considered "marginal" in thoset days. I know plenty of Gen X minorities that felt forced to change their accent, culture, and ways of presenting themselves in order to have a shot at being successful in their field.
What is Pronia?
We are quick to assume the worst in ourselves and in each other, regardless of the positive experiences of solidarity and compassion we have had along the wayIs it surprising that so many of us have problems with anxiety, depression and self esteem? How could you possibly be comfortable with yourself or others, if we are constantly reminded to hate and fear.
I have another option for you. Tell society and its paranoid programming to go f#$@ itself. There is a different path you can take. Opt, instead to embrace pronia - the idea that, in fact, the universe and your fellow humans, love you and want you to do well. This is a much better narrative to take part in - and just as real - than the one offered to you by the the mainstream communication channels.
Like most Generation X ers, I probably enjoyed my youth a bit too much. We were the generation of raves - spiritual parties that were organic, uncommericalized, and cultivated community and comradeship. Most importantly, they were fun and provided a brief moment in time to liberate ourselves from the confines of society.
Many Gen Xers can recall more than one night of being covered in absurd amounts of glitter and sweat, watching the sun rise in some field or deserted location, with a group of close friends. The feeling of love and connection with the universe that would overcome us is indescribable. We felt like a tribe and everything highlighted our desire to become a collective, collaborative, primitive whole - or rather - one single, enlightened, pulsating organism of diversity.
Like many Xers, I can still recall the first time I saw the video for Nirvana's "It Smells Like Teen Spirit," and thinking that the video and music captured everything I felt about life at the time. I felt stupid, contagious, and angrily happy.
I have to admit, however, that I didn't "get" grunge music right away. The culture and beats behind it were foreign to me. Growing up in NYC, popular music had more tribal beats like those found in hip-hop, salsa, house, etc. It was only when I traveled to Oregon that I began to understand the culture that shaped and molded my youth and, I believe, is partly responsible for the collaborative, digital consciousness taking rise today.