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The Forgotten Generation: Our Most Valuable Natural Resources

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The Forgotten Generation: Our Most Valuable Natural Resources There is a community which you aren't born into and do not choose to become a part of--yet it is a singular one. In this community, women far outnumber men, and half of those women are widows. Only one in five works, while their net worth remains close to 2.5 times that of the average family. Approximately 34.9 million Americans call themselves members of this community, which equals about one in every eight US inhabitants. A community is defined as a group of people with a common characteristic living together, within a larger society. The people of this mystery community are bound together by a common circumstance. They are the elderly, the nation's older citizens, Americans 65 or older, and they are all a part of the senior citizen community (A Profile of Older Americans). And, they are multiplying. Because projected life expectancy continues to rise with every new medical discovery, more men and women are living long enough to become senior citizens. However, there is more to this growing community than a common age bracket; they have watched the world change around them and in doing so have become dangerously isolated from society. ...read more.


The loneliness that oftentimes accompanies age is something to be seen in many senior citizens, for while they made have overcome all the adversity life could throw their way, it is inevitable that some of their friends will have not made it this far. The quintessential senior is recognizable by all this and more, the shift in identity, the lack of responsibility, the loneliness, and above all, the thirst for knowledge. The grandparents and senior citizens of today were the baby boomers of yesteryears and they have watched on, not necessarily in silence, as their world changed around them. They watched on as the cities moved to the suburbs. As their children grew up and got married in places they had never even heard of. As they saw presidents assassinated in color on their TV. When vaccines were invented for diseases that had crippled them as children, they watched on. While marriages fell apart and the divorce rate spiked up to almost 50, they were there. Their world has changed in so many ways, as it is the nature of the world to do so. ...read more.


Since that point in time, adults have had to go through their life all too often without the benefit of parental advice. These concerns are not yet insurmountable problems, but if nothing is done the elderly will continue to become more out of touch and isolated from the outside world. Since everyone of us will someday begin to repeat ourselves, quit our jobs, become out of date, begin to repeat ourselves, and in short become members of this community, it is vital that we take an interest in it. It is our future, and if we allow the elderly to remain isolated and out of touch with the rest of the world, we can assure ourselves, we too will suffer from the loneliness they do. Perhaps if we do nothing now, when we begin to feel the world as we know it is changing and we see in ourselves the emergence of some of those traits which classify one as old, we will take it upon ourselves to change. We must then strive to reintegrate the senior citizens, to make them a part of our daily routine. They are needed as well as vital to our growth as a society, and we must not let out most valuable natural resource go to waste. ...read more.

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