Wake Up Every Day and Go to Work, You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me?

Jonathan Morris Schwartz
5 min readOct 20, 2022

Teenagers have forever threatened to abandon the conventions of marriage, higher education, and back-breaking hard work…but now, I think they really mean it

Three teenagers about 17 years old.
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

How come everybody looked so happy in those early television sitcoms?

When I watch a rerun of the 1972 Bob Newhart Show, I’m transformed back to a profoundly simple America. A country where the average household had a black-and-white television, an 8-track cassette player, and a landline telephone.

Life seemed so quaint and sweet in that fictional sitcom based in Chicago. Bob and his wife Emily got up every day, rode the train to work, and came home at around 5:30 to their modest high-rise apartment where they had some meatloaf or baked chicken for dinner, enjoyed a book and some conversation, then went to bed around 10 pm….and just kept rinsing and repeating this daily pattern, indefinitely.

The geriatric population likes watching Bonanza or Gunsmoke for the same reason…..it reminds them of an even simpler time — before ANY modern technology. It also depicts an era when the roles of men, women, and children were solidified in Christian norms without even a hint of modern-day liberalism.

I could spend this article lamenting high housing costs, runaway inflation, the complete disregard for loyalty, and the lack of treating people the way we’d like to be treated ourselves, but you know that already.

You also know, in your gut, that a child born today into a poor or even middle-class family will not have access to the same opportunities we middle-aged and older folks did. That is not to say we don’t have tremendously successful young doctors, lawyers, businesspersons, computer scientists….and influencers….we certainly do.

Losing the Distinction between reality and fantasy

The reality for so many of us middle-agers and boomers was relatively simple: Get an education, find a spouse, work long hours, buy a home, make sacrifices for your children, retire, travel, and die.

My parents were the first generation to tell their children to find something they loved and do that for a living. They…



Jonathan Morris Schwartz

Jonathan Morris Schwartz is a speech language pathologist living in Ocala, Florida writing about love, politics, philosophy, and consciousness.