While going through my daily digest of news, I came across an article regarding Gen C or the Covid Generation. At first glance, I was going to pass on reading it, but my mind quickly linked the Covid pandemic to the Great Depression. I couldn’t help but think about how the events we go through today, change our lives tomorrow.
The Napkin Story
Many years ago, while living in Kansas, I met an older gentleman, whom we called “Red.” He was a successful farmer, who lived through the tough times in the 1930s.
On this occasion, several of us high school boys were helping him do farm work, which included stacking 50-pound hay bales in a spacious red barn. Yes … the bales seemed to get heavier as time passed, especially on a hot Kansas day.
Right before the noon hour, Red asked us boys to have lunch with him and his wife. Lunch was delicious … fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes with gravy, and soft and buttery dinner rolls straight from the oven.
During lunch, I observed Red take a napkin and split it into two, sharing one half with his wife. I thought it was unusual, especially since there was a packet of napkins on the table.
Later in the day, I asked Red why he shared the napkins, and he responded …
“It’s interesting you caught that because we don’t even think about it anymore. Since the lessons we learned from the Great Depression, my wife adopted a very frugal approach to life, and somewhere along the way, sharing a napkin became a habit.”
The Gen C Lessons
Clearly, events such as the Great Depression and Covid have a tremendous impact on our everyday habits for the future.
The story I read about the impact Covid will have on Gen C was filled with the potential damage for children born between 2016 and mid-2030s. The author noted that the changes taking place because of Covid will be so traumatic that the impact will be felt for more than a decade.
One mother from Arkansas noted that her young children were distraught when they were unable to celebrate birthdays, and it was heartbreaking for her to see the sadness on their faces when they were told play dates with friends were disallowed.
With so many stories such as this, it is easy to feel saddened about the future, but it is important to keep a positive attitude and to take advantage of the situation as a learning opportunity.
The Positive Angle to Gen C
While I agree Covid has made life difficult for younger people, it’s my nature to look at things from a positive perspective. Our youngest two children are 18 and 12, which means many of the traditional events held during this time were either canceled or postponed.
For example, our son was unable to attend the high school prom, and our daughter missed out on cheerleading for the year.
During this time, my wife and I reminded our kids of the lessons they could learn from a lockdown, and the ramifications that come from stay-at-home orders. One lesson my family learned is the simple things we do for others makes a huge difference, even if it’s a just a phone call to check-in on how they are doing.
It is important to use a difficult situation to help others. In fact, during a college interview, our son mentioned he volunteered at a local Covid vaccination site, and the interviewers were impressed.
As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make the best tasting lemonade you can.”
Yes … Covid has been tough on people around the world. We know so many lives were lost, and the impact will continue for years to come.
However, I have a feeling Gen C, and the rest of us for that matter, will be stronger because of it.