“In the 50s we lost our innocence.
In the 60s, we lost our authority.
In the 70s, we lost our love.
In the 80s, we lost our hope.
In the 90s we lost our power to reason.
Now we discover that somewhere in the midst of all this change, we have lost our imagination.”
I’m talking some about intergenerational conflict and community in the church right now in California at a pastor & spouse retreat. In doing so, came across some interesting rants about the generations from others. The above was written by Ravi in the “our kids lost their” tone. I’m rewriting it this way because I think it’s best to talk about generational stuff in the first person voice… because in the end we’re all in this together. Otherwise it can have a bit of the “get off my lawn” tone of the old cranky type, or the eyerolling elder-bashing of the youth.
I do think some sense of innocence, authority, love, hope, reason, and imagination is being lost over time–but all of us are losing it, not one generation over and against another, in the end. The generational lines blur pretty fast.
(For more context, here is the entire Zacharias quote, from Recapture the Wonder:
In the 1960s, kids lost their authority.
It was a decade of protest—church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it.
In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self.
Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion….It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference.
In the 1980s, kids lost their hope.
Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future.
In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world.
In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.”