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Our great-grandfathers’ legacies were built on the backs of the wars of their fathers. Born to soldiers, their fathers instilled in them the lessons of the age, yet the only lesson that they actually had to teach them was fear.
Thus, our great-grandfathers, who were practically born into the age of fear, grew up with a never-say-die attitude. They fought for themselves, and though they might not have been as accepting of other races as we are today, they were not afraid of fighting tooth and nail with businesses that were attempting to encroach upon the liberties their fathers laid out for them. In doing so, they left a path paved with effort and purpose all the way to the future.
Their legacy is Hard Work.
Due to our great-grandfather’s nonacceptance of other people, they fought great wars and left the world emotionally broken and fearful of continued conflict. While they played a game of chicken on an extreme scale, the children were brought up to believe that anyone can be your enemy. Also, the government, despite whatever it tells you, is really only out for itself.
With things like the “Red Scare” and the ever-looming fear of a nuclear holocaust, is it any wonder our grandparents’ generation wouldn’t even trust their children with the future? Striving to change the way the government acted out its role, their generation fought in the streets. Racism, fascism and fear all eventually fell beneath their feet.
So our grandparents’ legacy is Equality.
Equality is a dangerous thing, as our parents found out. Human beings are not equal, and not everyone can be on the same level.
While our grandparents were out marching in the streets, our parents were being subjected to talk of equality and hope. Those two things came eventually, but were either too late or didn’t come as advertised.
Being confronted with the problem of the unreachable ideal of “total equality,” yet being forced to attempt to make it work anyway, gave birth to a generation of hypocrites. The same businesses our great-grandfathers attempted to keep down reared their ugly heads, and our parents swallowed the entire tale they were fed.
Simultaneously preaching their goodness while neglecting the future and disrespecting the past is why our parents’ legacy is Hypocrisy.
But what is our legacy? We’re still in the middle of ours. Will our children say that we were the people who fought back against a generation which only cared about itself? Are we going to be the spark that lights our way back to the path our great-grandfathers walked? Or will we be the sheep, only living while being placated by the master’s goodwill? We have in our hands better tools than our great-grandfathers could ever have dreamed. Yet what do we do with them?
We will light a fire to light our children’s path. We refuse to be eaten by the wolves of our great-grandparents’ generation. Our legacy will be the Spark of Change.