Is being sane too much to ask?

When I was young, I remember my grandfather often telling me, “The world wasn’t like this when I was your age.” Then he would go on a rant about how things were so different when he was my age. Finally, he concluded by saying, “It’s a crazy world, son.”

I can’t remember everything he said, but one thing was when I was young, people were pretty sane and the things they did. He explained it to me the best he could, and I listened the best I could. But then, sanity for one person may be insanity for another.

Recently, I caught myself saying the same thing to one of my grandchildren, and then it dawned on me, “Have I become my grandfather?”

Reflecting on this a bit, I thought, is this generation as crazy as mine? Now, where did this generation inherit its madness?

Looking at the culture around us, it’s hard to see anything with any sense of sanity. Trying to listen to contemporary music is crazy. Not only can I barely understand the lyrics, but it doesn’t make sense.

Wanting to do some research on this, I went to the mall, sat in the middle with a coffee and people-watched.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been out in public like this, and I’m not sure I’ll be anytime soon. However, seeing these people made me think a bit about what real sanity is.

So many people walked by in those clothes that it was quite embarrassing.

The girls wore pants full of holes, rips and tears. It looked like they were pulled from some garbage can.

Someone told me, I have no idea it’s true, but those pants start at $100 each. The more rips and tears, the more expensive they are.

When I was young, nobody wore pants like that, at least not in public. But what was sane yesterday is now madness.

If only I had known this back then, I could have saved my pants and sold them today for my retirement fund.

When I thought I saw all that had passed by me about half a dozen young men, I think they were young men, whose pants were almost to the knees. How they could walk like that without tripping was beyond the level of my sanity.

For a moment, I wanted to reach out and say, “Excuse me, but your pants are falling down.”

Where does something like this come from? Who in the world said that was “the thing” to do?

I’d like to see them outside trying to get away from a barking dog.

As I was sitting there trying to move my head and clear the mess, I saw something that scared me at first.

Looking down a lane, I saw three young ladies coming and I didn’t know what to do. It seemed that the clothes had been painted. I have never seen anything so crazy in all my life. Not know what to do. He didn’t know if he should run. Should I just sit there and close my eyes?

As they passed, I noticed that they had clothes on. But for the life of me, I don’t know how they put on those clothes, and I couldn’t imagine how they would take them off.

Seeing these young women in their painted clothes, I was able to appreciate the ladies in ripped and ragged pants. I’m not sure which is worse, but I think at that point I would have voted for the terrible pants.

It’s good that he had a cup of coffee with me because as I was sitting there, I was trying to calm down. If this world isn’t crazy, then I am.

I noticed a young guy coming down, talking like he was on the radio. He talked and laughed and talked and laughed, and I thought maybe this guy had had too much “what’s-his-name” to drink.

I noticed an attachment to his ears with something going down the side of his chin. As she passed, she kept talking. It was then that I noticed something quite strange. This young man was on the phone.

At least, that’s what I called it. But of course I don’t know what phones are called today, and I don’t know how they work. But this young man seemed to know how it worked and he was working it to the end.

Oh, if only my grandfather could be sitting with me right now and see what I saw, he would have had enough words to say about what he saw.

I finished my coffee and then got up to leave and headed out to my vehicle. As I drove home, I thought about what sanity and insanity are all about. What is right in one generation may not seem right in the next.

A favorite scripture verse came to mind as I drove. “What was, that will be; and what was done, the same will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

If anyone knew anything about this, it was King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. We may think that what we are doing is new, but in all sanity, nothing is new.

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