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You Get What You Need.



How many baby boomers have taken advice from Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones?

If your answer resembles, “I used to listen to them,” it’s time to reset.

Just because you got older doesn’t mean the songs of your youth lose their meaning.

It could be the opposite.

Consider the first part of the title: If you try sometimes…

Is there a more pressing time than now to try a little harder?

Too often we check out on the idea of trying harder. When  someone suggests you try harder,  it feels like an accusation.

“What? Try harder? You don’t think I’m trying hard enough? Well mister, let me tell you about trying…”

Then they go off on a history of trying.

The elders of society have it best. When you’ve got WWII as the default for trying harder you can’t lose.

“Try harder than taking down Hitler and Tojo? It doesn’t get any harder, son,” they say.

Then there’s the rest of us.

Have boomer women tried sometimes?

It would irresponsible to say they’ve done nothing less than try the hardest of all.

Parents of boomers were the men in gray flannel suits and women in the kitchen. Role models, or anchors drowning their kids’ dreams, they provided the sort of life everyone agreed was better than ever.

The dads were hard working men who put in twenty or thirty years with the same company and retired.

The moms organized the house and kept the kids in line. They never stopped doing that.

Together they lived lives of quiet desperation


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Boomer men always had an out. They could take off and no one would bat an eye.

“Why did you move clear across the country?”

“To see what was there,” is a perfectly acceptable answer.

Some women who moved out of the family home before they got married were cast as loose and stigmatized for life by the fathers.

What’s so bad about wanting your own place with your own stuff before settling in with a daddy/clone?

It was bad enough the women went to college, especially if they came from a family that devalued education.

Single at twenty two? No husband? No kids? Inconceivable, but they did it.

How many boomer women fell out of favor with their mothers by choosing an independent life? How many were celebrated for their courage? Let’s hear millennial daughters ask their moms that question before you do the math.

Kids today enjoy the sort of freedom unheard of in baby boomer youths. Dress code? What’s that. Prison terms for weed seeds? Come on. But it’s true.

While you gather for Thanksgiving try giving extra thanks for the ladies present. Ask them if they still try new things. Ask them if they’ve found what they need.

When you turn on the news and hear about civil unrest, ask if they’ve ever protested.

If they say, “No,” they’re just being polite.

Women who’ve stood up to stereotypes protest everyday. They just find what they need without making it a big deal.

It’s a lesson for all ages to learn. Once you get it, you can sing along:

I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need


About David Gillaspie
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