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whitevanman

The Pre-War Generation

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I'm lucky in my work as I regularly get to meet and work for some of that generation. Only, in recent years that seems to be happening less and less often. :(

Today I met an elderly gentleman who as a boy had to escape Singapore ahead of the Japanese advance. The family had to leave the father to 3 1/2 years as a POW at the hands of the Japanese. They made it back (via Bombay) despite the bombing of the bulk carrier they were aboard and were greeted by welcoming Glaswegians who provided them with clothes, blankets and food.

Over the years I've heard many such stories, all delivered matter-of-factly by people who went on to lead perfectly ordinary lives. The thing they've all had in common is their modesty and decency. I'm glad I met some of them. I'll miss them when they're gone.

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And the strange thing is that their kids became the complete opposite. Same goes for second generation immigrants. Parents came to the country with nothing, worked their fingers to the bone to build up businesses and their kids are arrogant, self-obsessed boomer types living off the back of the previous generation who modestly and selflessly gave everything to the next generation.

Edit: I say boomer types as these are the 30 year old kids of 50 year old parents who aren't boomers. It must be an inter generational thing of grafters followed by surfers (surfing the wave of another generations graft). Unfortunately for the 30 year old indigenous population their parents have took advantage of the grandparents and are shafting the kids and the grand kids futures too.

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They were part of something that was much much bigger than the individual.

Since the war there has been no common purpose worthy of self-sacrifice; people fall back towards self-interest as the only thing that makes practical sense. What is there to believe in? Labour's political correctness? David Cameron's big society? Everybody with a brain sees through these phantoms for the nonsense that they are.

Duty, as my (public) school tried to ingrain into me, is a nonsense in a world of benefits culture. Pay as little tax as you can in any form and don't do 'owt for nowt as our northern cousins would phrase it. Trust and confidence in institutions has gone. We are left with publicity stunts, social media likes, and raising awareness.

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People can be much braver than they think, in times of difficulty! My parents were children during the war, and I can't imagine it.

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People can be much braver than they think, in times of difficulty! My parents were children during the war, and I can't imagine it.

Think of yourself as being much smaller than you are now and without a Lexus.

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When I was young there were people who the adults in the family always referred to respectfully by their former military rank. Nice old gentlemen who were not quite as other men. Old soldiers with two world wars on their CV. Like my grandfather who died when I was a child. I am still in awe of them.

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Think of yourself as being much smaller than you are now and without a Lexus.

Probably coudn't get them during the war.

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When I was young there were people who the adults in the family always referred to respectfully by their former military rank. Nice old gentlemen who were not quite as other men. Old soldiers with two world wars on their CV. Like my grandfather who died when I was a child. I am still in awe of them.

We have become wimps!

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We have become wimps!

I'm not sure many of the prewar generation would have wanted to have been around in our generation.

They sold (or in this case bought it) at the peak !

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