I’m a product of my generation

I’m a product of my generation

Come on people now, smile on your brother.

There are so many things I love about living in Juneau.

Like today, when there was a foot of slush and hiking through it saved me the money I would have spent on a Buns of Steel video. That’s $15 I saved and I got the bonus wet boots and tight calves. And the disturbing part is I’m not being sarcastic.

I also love that we only have five or six radio stations. Again, I mean that sentiment. Too many choices make me crazy. I used to not listen to the radio, but the electric car has a buzz so I solve that problem in the way I solve all vehicle issues, by turning up the radio.

[Staff Picks: What we’re listening to, watching and reading this month]

And the amazing thing about Juneau’s music choices is I can hear Karma Chameleon, I Wear My Sunglasses at Night and the entire Sports album by Huey Lewis and the News, not just once, but often multiple times in a day. That saves me the shame of having these songs on my playlist and I still get to sing along (except to Karma Chameleon where I mumble a lot because I have no idea what they are saying.)

And I want to justify these somewhat questionable music tastes with the same justification I gave my kids when I made them watch “Knight Rider” — I’m a product of my generation. This is the stuff we loved and I’m somewhat surprised when it comes off a little vapid under scrutiny.

[Juneau’s got pod people]

But here’s what I find really scandalous once I scrutinize it — the generation rationalization is pretty lame.

1. I’m pretty sure not every Gen Xer loves Boy George.

2. My age and generation is only one tiny part of who I am and what I like.

There’s been so much published about the different generations and how they perceive things, and I’m not denying it, but it seems like another way to categorize and distance ourselves from each other.

[Breaking bread in the new year]

I was raised surrounded by old people, or at least people I thought were old, and I think that was one of the biggest gifts the church gave me. I learned to love people from another time and perspective as individuals and be loved by them. I got to glean wisdom and stories from the likes of Alice Katterhenrich, who recently died, to Mrs. White, who died eons ago, to Rosie and Gail, who’ve prayed me through a good chunk of my life.

I value those relationships across generations and am thankful no one told me what assumptions to make about them because they were born at a certain time. And I continue to value how the church is one of the few places left where generations gather and learn to love each other in our particularity instead of assuming every Gen Xer had a poster of Tom Selleck.

• Tari Stage-Harvey is pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

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