“I am not my generation”

Old school. It is a description that can connote either sentimental admiration or stinging mockery. I’ve spent a lot of my life around many people who were older than me. Whether it be by visiting my grandmother, or the disabled WWII veteran from my synagogue, I have always tried to learn as much as I can from the past and apply it towards my present and future. Needless to say, their teachings have saturated my mind and my soul and have had a tremendous impact on how I conduct myself.

So what does it mean that ‘I am not my generation?’ Since I have embraced so many of these lessons, I often feel that I should have been born somewhere between sixty or eighty years ago, and that I am simply in the wrong generation. Let me give some examples:

Musically, I prefer Frank Sinatra, Bill Evans, and Beethoven to Kanye West, Ke$ha and Justin Bieber. I appreciate the notion of chivalry – of striving to be a refined gentleman: well-groomed and well-mannered. I like holding doors open for women, or giving up my seat on the subway for an elderly person. It’s just a part of how I was raised by parents and grandparents, and how I prefer to live my life.

Nothing would make me happier than to walk down the street in a trench coat, suit and fedora mirroring a Humphrey Bogart-esque caricature from the 1940s. And you know what? I am my generation. Maybe I am not typical of my generation, but who said that is bad? What if it is in fact my greatest asset?