All slang is a metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.
All slang is a metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry. G. K. Chesterton, (1901)
I found this an interesting quote by Chesterton as it gave me something to think about. I believe that slang changes as young people define their own metaphors for life. So I understand that the poetry of life for the young is not the same as for us Boomers, nor is our poetry of life the same as our Seniors.
How do you define the poetry of your life? What metaphors do you use to define your world, to build the paradigm in which you shape your view of the world? I think, we Boomers have worked hard to define the slang that defined our world, the metaphors that create our poetry, and in my mind how we view the world.
Everyone has different metaphors that help them define their world, but the Boomers, like every generation, have shared some common history that has helped define us. We watched as man landed on the moon for the first time, we huddled under desks as we prepared for nuclear war; we believed that we would not live into our 30's because the upcoming nuclear war would destroy the world.
We watched the American Dream unravel as President Kennedy was assassinated, and most of us saw the horror of war on TV as we watched young men our age fighting in a foreign land, that we knew nothing about. We listened to a new type of music to us, called Rock and Roll, and we danced, dated and built relationships through this music. Collectively, we wrestled with those and other issues, Billy Joel in his wonderful song "We didn't start the fire" gives a brief outline of the history of the times. This song, I think, shows the forces that helped the Boomers develop the slang which allowed us to create the metaphors of our life.
Each one of us reacted to the events of our lives and in the process, created the poetry of our lives. This poetry was passed on to our children, who, in turn, created their own poetry and metaphors for life--shaped, we hope, by their our experiences with us.
Being an older person, a senior or a grandparent means that we should first try to understand the poetry and metaphors of our lives before we pass these metaphors on to our grandchildren, so they can continue the dream. But just as important is for us as seniors, grandparents, and Boomers is to understand the metaphors and the poetry of the next generations to help them celebrate what these metaphors mean to them.