Gretchen Addi and I both have older children and aging parents to take care. She said we are of sandwich generation.
Our parents did not have to think much of how to die. Living long was good thing. Living long, and enjoying the fruits of life. Like most of things in our lives, things do not turn out the way we imagined it to be. It turns out that we can live a long life, but the pension does not cover for frequent pleasure travels, abundant birthday and Christmas presents for everyone we would like to give. Houses and machines need repair. So do our bodies. We have cancer, many other kinds of sickness and injuries. If we are willing to endure the pain of healing after the surgery, slightly to very inconvenient life after the recovery, or to illness with no recovery like dementia we can live for a long time. Our parents are experiencing these things firsthand. We are experiencing them the second hand. We are able to prepare for our own impending old age. I myself spend a lot of time thinking of how I want to live the rest of my life, how to die, try to plan for it to be different from the current generation experiencing the old age and death. I would often joke with non-Japanese that we as Japanese are used to the idea of planned death from Samurai days. Samurai and their family were taught to think about ways to die from very early age. Thinking about how I want to end my life made me think of how I want my life to be, of how I want to live. Being conscious of the limited time of life makes life precious and dear. Because of this, I’m thankful that I am of my generation.
Actually, this entry is not about philosophical contemplation of life and death. Going back to my conversation with Gretchen, it’s about business not serving the needs of people like me and my parents. They discovered, capture the young audience, and they will have lifelong customers. We are many, and we have the buying power.
So who’s doing the behavioral observation on us to create products to fill our needs?