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COVID-19 Has Reevaluated a Generation

People beyond numbers. The deaths of COVID-19 are not abstract entities but people who have lived, loved, worked, made dreams, suffered, enjoyed. They are largely the generation of the thirties and forties. Not all that generation fought the second mondial war, it didn’t go to die at the front. Millions of young people from the previous generation had certainly gone to the front to free the world from Nazi-fascism and give their country a future. The Thirty / Forty generation experienced the final moments of that war, the last hospitalizations for the bombings, and certainly the poverty, pain, and suffering that ensued and, finally, participated, tenaciously, in the post-war reconstruction, resulting decisive for social, civil and cultural construction. Has lived it with the child’s light-heartedness or the child’s unconsciousness or, being born after 1945, he did not experience it at all.

The post-war period was marked by everyone’s commitment to a rebirth that made it possible to live better,  the age of the first FIAT 500 car, the house built with the few savings, children made to study at the cost of any sacrifice, the union struggles, and the difficult transformation of our society in the second half of the 1900s.

This generation has seen the world change perhaps like few others.

When I was a child, the only means of communication of the family with the world, besides the newspapers, was the radio. Telephones and television were a luxury that would come later, already in adolescence. The dominant morality was obsessive, I dare say almost still medieval. The woman was subjected to the man, the law also recognized the “right of honor” as extenuating if the husband killed her, because she had betrayed the duties of marriage. And divorce, abortion, homosexuality, were forbidden even only as words.

And then, suddenly we found ourselves in the 80s when the ebb began, the turning point of history, and in several decades of restoration many social and democratic achievements were canceled, in the name of the market and the company, which they presented themselves as modern, even revolutionaries.

To these people, we should owe a lot of respect to have a unique and unrepeatable face and soul. Instead, it often is considered privileged, because it has earned a safer job because we have a pension, low but dignified. Paradoxically, many of those who today can enjoy the conquest of freedom and democracy, to which that (my) generation has contributed, often accuse it of being the cause of many of their current problems.

Yet the generation facing the risks of COVID-19 has enjoyed a peace never experienced by any other generation in previous centuries, thanks to the commitment of those people who have contributed to the construction of a peaceful western world.

Today the elderly are not listened to as they used to be, their opinion is not taken into account, and this is wrong because wisdom is not acquired with the impetuosity of youthful character, but with the maturity of white hair. The cultural richness of the knowledge of an elderly person is an immense value of which all should reappropriate, to improve a society that is falling apart, without asking why but only blaming others! The commitment of that generation has handed down values ​​of freedom and ethical and cultural rights that should serve to strengthen that ancient human bond full of affection-solidarity with the elderly, which represents the roots of our very essence and certainty for a constructive future. But this is not the case or at least not always.

Well, the COVID-19, which has taken away a large part of that generation, has at least had the “merit” (even if this term seems inadequate) of having reminded many that belongs to the elderly the special vocation of the memory and of the dreams to offer to the younger generations. Now that that generation is about to be exterminated by the virus, we are reminding that, in a world like the present one, in which strength and appearance are often mythologized, the elderly are the witnesses of values ​​that count, they have worked for the development of the culture of life, testifying that each season of existence has its own beauty and importance, even when it is marked by fragility.

But humanity forgets quickly!

Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Aldo, one correction if I may! To a comment :-) You are indeed 80 years YOUNG.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

    Values that count matter.

    Even when the younger (such as myself) are fragile… we all need to contribute to the world.

    As best we can for what fits today.

    And drawing energy and determination from doing what we value.

    blessings,
    Cynthia

  2. Dear Aldo! Thank you so much for this beautiful testimonial to your generation, and for the non questionable contributions of this generation in the mankind history! I can only applaud it and hope the ones who left this physical world are resting in peace 💙

    This being said, I would argue it is a generational problem and would rather say the non-principled and character-disturbed folks (including the narcissists you’re implictly talking about) have been present in abundance from the very beginning of the humanity where the Alpha — the most violent individuals — took advantage of this planet resources, and then dared reclaim the ownership, where those bloody disordered emperors invaded earth to show their power killing millions of human beings.

    What do you think the origin of the countries is? It is nothing but an evolution of the tribes. Why were the tribes created at all? To protect the exploited land and kill any individual who could even think of approaching the territory and share the land’s resources.

    What was the fuel? Fear and the scarcity mentality. In the modern times, the same principles apply. Plus, it is way easier to control people who are afraid of each other.

    More to the point, in every single generation, there were some enlightened human beings who were the CHANGE MAKERS and who were fortunate enough to have their voice heard by thounsands — if not millions of kind-hearted and only distorted people eagerly waiting for some MORAL AUTHORITY to inspire them to take action creating, thus, a mass mobilization for the cause no matter what it is.

    You only need to think of any example of a very legitimate fight in the history and you’ll figure out that there has always been a huge and ugly RESISTANCE — violating so many universal correct principles: the human dignity, the fairness, the respect, etc…

    Who were those people who resisted any cause? The character-disturbed individuals who are so disconnected from their conscience… They are anything but a NEW epidemy. They were just not ENABLED by the society as they are nowadays… With the social media expansion, they became way more normalized and empowered…

    Who do you think created them in the first place? The unhealthy part of the previous generation — which was itself created by the dysfunctional family system of the one before, and so on…

    What I’m trying to say is that the lack of principles and the sick ego is anything but new, that the only thing making us feel it is becoming a pandemic in the new generations is that we have given them the PERMISSION and the TOOLS…

    I like to view the maturity as the balance between the empathy to listen and the courage to confront; which — to me — has absolutely nothing to do with our age or white hair; rather a matter of our self-awareness and a spiritual awakening which could happen even at 25.

    How come? Well, simply because adulthood does not mean wisdom if we are a character-disordered person in any case. Psychologically speaking, those “adults” emotional growth STOPPED at the childhood; giving birth to all the abuse they are responsible for when their biological age reaches the adulthood… This is exactly why I care so much about a global awareness around the topic — which I tried my best to explain in the last piece shared here.

    If we want to give ouselves a real chance to stop this pandemic, we need to stop creating and enabling narcissists narcissists in the first place…

    • Myriam Ben Salem
      My heartfelt thanks for your time.
      I have carefully read your considerations which I largely share.
      The things that go wrong in the world are certainly attributable to that part of us that has no ethics, sense of responsibility, awareness of having to live in respect of everything around them.
      There are too many things in the history of the world that humanity must be forgiven, one above all that of pontificating but remaining in the autonomous.
      As I have already replied elsewhere in this article, I am not prosecuting generations but intwndevo honoring a generation that fought to ensure peace and democracy in the world has been blown away by a virus that has also found us unprepared.
      We need to recover many things and make better ones. I have faith in the new generations, especially if they will not be able to “tell” the mistakes of those who preceded them, but they will take responsibility for creating a better world. If they manage to work together within our countries to prioritize the needs of all citizens, and internationally to overcome the divisions that have allowed the pandemic threat to escalate, a new world order could arise from the terrible fire of this pandemic. . If they learn to cooperate they will not only have found ways to stop the next pandemic, but also to solve the problem of climate change and other fundamental threats.

  3. Thank you for taking your time to my considerations and above all for giving me the opportunity to clarify my thought.
    I have always been against the use of weapons without effective control. I practiced skeet shooting at a high level, but in compliance with very strict rules that exist in Italy and in many other countries. If in others, however, there is an indiscriminate spread of weapons with consequent risks such as those you mention, this depends on the regulations of the individual countries on which I do not allow myself to intervene, as well as the sense of responsibility of the people.
    I only wanted to testify that my generation has worked to rebuild a world (the western one) destroyed by war, trying to guarantee democracy and peace. In the western world, at least in my view, there have been no more wars. There are, and there will still be dysfunctions due to the spread of extremism of various kinds that must be controlled, even if it is very difficult to control everything in a globalized world.
     That generation that is disappearing because of Covid-19 was capable of transmitting great values ​​precisely because it had the experiences that I have told.
    In short, I took the liberty of honoring men and women who knew how to sacrifice themselves for an important purpose.
    Thanks. I hope to interact with you again in the future.

  4. Aldo – Oh, how I wish that your essays were required reading for all – you are able to see into the soul of humanity to point out the folly of “it’s all about me” selfish attitude that has been promoted for years. Thank you for having the courage to share these important lessons.

    • Thanks to you Len who never fails to follow me.
      The fact is that with advanced age the spirit of observation emerges for things to which, as you rightly say, for a long time we have mulled over, in the hope that humanity would make these considerations its own or ask for light from the old generations.
      As you can see from some observations in this article of mine, there is still some confusion between what has been the commitment to rebuild a world of peace and what can happen if weapons are allowed to circulate freely.
      Thanks for always being present. And take care of yourself.

      • Aldo – I read your posts because I grow as a person from your wisdom and experience. Like you, I pray we become better as in our treatment of others of all generations as a result of this experience but my fears from what we already see is the lessons will be soon forgotten by many. But people like you need to keep ringing the bell of reason and maybe, just maybe, one person at a time will be moved to change. Again, thank you, my friend.

  5. Aldo, trust me on this: I will not go quietly into that good night! Doing what I can to stay safe, even if my status is of the older generation.

    I’m 74 (going on 50), living alone, loving it. Like so many of our generation, I still work — of course, working from home, editing others’ writing, isn’t stressful or scary, nor does it demand enormous physical resources. But it helps keep me “young.”

    I am grateful for the good that has come my way, I hope to keep paying it forward, and I surely hope that COVID-19 or not, that I can keep being a useful part of today’s world, however it twists and turns.

    Love your last sentence: “…the elderly are the witnesses of values ​​that count, they have worked for the development of the culture of life, testifying that each season of existence has its own beauty and importance, even when it is marked by fragility.” (OK, maybe not the fragility part, but you know what I mean.)

    • Susan,
      thanks for reading my thoughts on old age and especially for the comment. It is the genuinely readers and observant thinkers like yourself that give me the inspiration to give vent to my voice.
      I am 80 years old this year, before isolation for Covid-19 I played tennis, I traveled, I dedicated myself to my grandchildren and I hope to resume doing these things and the others thing that keep me alive, like the honor that gives me Dennis by publishing my considerations.
      I have no regrets and I am aware of the gift that the Lord has given me to arrive healthily so far.
      Thanks again for following me.

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