Great Generations

America and China both have a generation that matured during tough times.

I wonder if the American generation that survived the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the Great Depression and won World War II, would riot like these Greek mobs

My parents were from the Great Depression generation. At fourteen, my dad went into the mountains near Los Angeles to fill fifty-pound bags with oak leafs for a nursery, and he mucked out horse stalls at Santa Anita. At fourteen, my mom was a server in a coffee shop in Eugene, Oregon. She supported her mother and younger sister from the tips. Mom and dad weren’t perfect. They had vices.

Japanese invasion of China, World War II, Chungking

What happened to America after World War II is happening in China today. The Chinese who are turning China into a super power are the ones who fought the Japanese during World War II, who won the revolution to free China from Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang dictatorship and threw off the yoke of Western Imperial colonialism. They also survived the deprivations and repressions of the Cultural Revolution under Mao.

Hardships breed survivors, who do not riot when economies collapse. They work for less at any job. They eat yams, rice and soybeans instead of ice cream, candy, French fries, drinking sodas or Starbuck’s lattes.

People from the great generations did without TVs and iPods. They survived without phones and the Internet. They saved and paid with cash instead of using credit cards.

Discover more from Deng Xiaoping’s 20/20 Vision

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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