Saturday, July 05, 2008


The Death of the Iron Race

According to Greek mythology we are the Iron Race: the fifth and worst race created by the Gods thus far. Every generation of the Iron Race is worse than its predecessor, and every son is less than is father. The Greeks believed that we would only last until the Gods grew tired of our wickedness and removed us from the Earth. The Greeks came up with this concept some 4,000 years ago. That's a lot of wickedness building up.
A lot of people still believe in this theory, even if they don't know it. Everyone has heard people older than themselves complained about the youth they see, and everyone has complained about people younger than themselves. When I think about it, though, it makes sense.
A handful of generations ago, when the people were mildly better than ourselves, they settled this land. They crossed oceans on wooden ships, only to arrive in a wilderness. Out of that wilderness they carved a home, often building their houses from the trees around them.
These days, we lay around in homes built by contractors, and complain about mowing the lawn.
Every generation strives to leave a legacy for its children. Oftentimes, that legacy is something meant to make it easier for the next generation. There is less and less work to be done. It is my firm belief that the harder you work, the better person you will be. That hard work that turns children into adults is getting easier. We expect less and less out of people.
I have heard that my generation is the first in American history that will have it harder than its forbearer. While I am not sure this is true, when I think about it, perhaps it is a good thing. I have already grown up; I am an adult member of the plague on Earth known as the Iron Race. But perhaps my children will not be. Maybe they will have to work harder than me, to become something better than me. Maybe, just maybe, the Iron Race will die with me.

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