One summer at a family reunion I sat across from cousin in law and listened to her diss her teenaged son right in front of him. He was lazy. He never listened. He had no common sense. Expected her to pick up after him. As we drove home my kids and I talked about how unkind that was to talk about him like that in front of him. And my daughter said "If he's like that, whose fault is that?"
But as I see this being shared more and more around facebook it's not just the "life isn't fair" It's the whole arrogant "Aren't young people lazy and stupid and aren't we so much better than them?" attitude that bothers me so. I leave comments disagreeing on every single one of them and nobody seems to appreciate it. In fact one person called me intolerant.
I mean seriously look at the world we have created. Why should young people pay any attention to any "rules" we might impose on them?
Young people are different than we are. Some of that difference is a good thing. Some isn't. Some kids are lazy and feel entitled. Some kids have been overprotected by their parents. Many many young people have been neglected and abandoned by the adults in their life. If we despair that young people do not seem to act like "adults", why is that? How much time to children actually spend with adults? Very very little. Why should they know how to be adults when we've paid so little attention to them?
I've been reading Hurt 2.0, Inside the World of Today's Teenagers and it is an eye opener. Young people have pretty much been abandoned and neglected by the adults in their lives. I think that is why I have such visceral reaction when I see that STUPID picture going around. I see so much selfishness and disregard for children going on among adults. How dare we get all self-righteous and smug about what is wrong with young people? How about we pull out that plank in our own eyes first?
I am, at heart an optimist. I have faith in the new generation. They will figure it out. Just like we rebelled against some of the flaws of the generation before us, they will push the pendulum that has swung too far in this generation. They will figure out what doesn't work and survive. And they will push the world a little too far in a direction and will be annoyed when the generation that follows them pushes back. And so it goes.
But if you are my facebook friend and you post that picture, be prepared for a rant from me.