A Muse should have a good memory and adapt his thoughts to match his assumed audience. First, let me tell you how my memories differentiate my various audiences.
I was a bonny boy of three when WWII began, and in time I learned how to comb my hair like Togo and salute like Hitler. My folks never let me feel deprived. There was no TV, but we saw MovieTone News on some Saturday nights at the movies. Living life and learning from books and experiences on the farm were our central activities. Our food came from the land around us, so my family and I lived well. I muse of when that lifestyle again becomes normal, say in about forty years, but not in cities.
When I was in my teens, I concluded I was immortal, but feared death. Everything went my way, and there was a future world out there for me to conquer. I did not understand human society and was unaware of its effects on the environment. I made decisions on the matters of positioning and choosing where to go. I picked a college major at the age of fifteen intent on helping someone go to the moon. My uncles scoffed, but twenty years later they apologized when Armstrong stepped off the ladder on that distant orb.
My musings about today's teens are that they are much like I was, but I think their opportunities are much, much less. The media shows younger teens believe technology will save their dreams and the world will continue as it is or improve remarkably. News programs tell of too many older teens becoming pessimistic and lashing out because the world is not going the way they want. I do not know what is best to tell them.
In my twenties I was on the leading edge of physics, learning, challenging, adding experience, inventing new technology. I no longer worried about immortality, it was a given. I had a family, but the kids were more like toys. Lots of today's twenty-year-olds remind me of then. So many seem to have no care or concern about the fate of the world; they only think of themselves.
In my thirties I raised a family and gained experience, but I focused on the then present. I wanted more power and control of what I did. I executed a corporate startup, and worked my butt off with my wife's help. Hard work paid off, and things began to take care of themselves, with me in charge. My efforts paid handsomely. Luck helped, but I learned you have to answer the door when luck knocks.
Many of today's thirty-year-olds have much the same attitude of wanting control, except they seem to believe the world owes them success and good fortune. Achievement is their right, and it must be soon. The future of the world is often not a consideration. I fear many of them will suffer major disappointments in the coming decades.
In my forties I consolidated my power and control and cashed in on my success. I still owned the world around me and tried unsuccessfully to replicate my earlier successes. I lived on the fruits of my past labors and spent most of my fortune on ill-conceived investments. It was fun to be an entrepreneur, but I began to notice the world around me was less than it had been in my younger days; the environment had changed and the opportunities were fewer. I began to wonder how my off-spring might survive in this new world that was developing. I began to wonder how my wife and I would survive in the world just around the corner, but I had faith everything would continue on the good path.
As I began my fifties, Nature informed me in no uncertain terms that my immortality was no longer guaranteed. My heart began working incorrectly, and I underwent bypass surgery. A kick in the gut like that can change your whole perspective. After the surgery I looked upon any future at all as a gift. I faced the problems of paying for my health care, and went back to work with my original startup to get insurance. I began to worry about the future. What would the future hold? What would it be? Because I was lucky to be alive, the future became an issue in my mind.
Many of today's forty- and fifty-year-olds are in good health, but from time to time they or one of their friends experience some kind of life-threatening illness or accident or lose their job. They start with the assumption that nothing can go wrong, then when something does go wrong, they wonder what they can do. They cling to what they have, and hope that ObamaCare or some other big program will carry them through. If they lose their job, they find themselves stuck in a pool of unwanted: too-experienced-to-qualify, too old to get under the wire. It is hell, both psychologically and physically. My thoughts are that it will not get any better, and for many, it will get worse.
Early in my sixties I retired and began the task of finding something to keep me busy. I watched my parents decline and realized that would be my future far too soon. I watched my children make some of the same mistakes I now realized my wife and I had made in the early years. I searched for things to keep me interested and became an Activist of sorts on several fronts. I wrote books warning of earthquakes on the New Madrid fault. I became involved in the discussions of resource depletion, population overshoot, and climate change. I wrote blogs to convince folks around me that there was something they should worry about. But it did not seem to work.
Now, in my seventies, I am tired of pushing on a rope. I realize so much better the impacts of the past actions and decisions by me and our society. I have a much better perspective on what are the consequences of various actions by our government and citizens. I think I also have a better rating system of what is important and what is not. I now find my biggest worry is living too long.
I suppose the Time Frame for Musing is when you are too old to be a useful Activist. At my age I can offer advice and guidance, and when no one listens, it is naturally easy to forget I said anything. But I should direct my musings to the generations coming along, for it will be their world to live in the future. They have some control over what that future will be, but for the most part they must learn to cope with what happens.