Once again, whoever writes the narrative will do so in their favor. With that said, it is well known that I believe that the younger generation whines too much, feels entitled and lacks responsibility. Having said that, I do not see my generation as “the” generation but instead my parents’ and grandparents’ generation as “the” generation.
Not so much because my parents and grandparents walked to school but because they did walk to school. They could have stayed home and not gone at all but they made the effort. Today’s generations if their ride is not there they would not dare walk to school. Of course critics will say, “But it no longer is safe to walk to school like when your parents and grandparents walked to school.” Possibly. But let’s take that variable away. Let’s line up the road between home and school with guardians and police and I will tell you that kids today still will not walk the distance. Bottom line, kids today would not take the risks my parents and grandparents made at the same age despite the kids today have everything at their disposal to make better decisions.
For example, one of thousands of examples, kids today would not get on a boat to cross the ocean to a country where they know no one, do not speak the language and have no idea what to expect yet our parents did. Kids today, one example of thousands, would rather live with their parents than take the risk, despite today, with the internet, one of thousands of advantages and advances available today not available to my parents, kids today could find work, a place to live, read local newspapers, do research about other places, whose hiring, what careers are needed, yada, yada, yada. Yet, kids today will not take the risk.
This argument of “Future Envy” is one more ridiculous CRAP I have ever heard. By the way, I went to the linked website and watched the mentioned video and found it was even more ridiculous than the words to describe it in the article.
Let’s take the mentioned examples:
1. 14 century scarlet fever. If we were to give that same mother the following choices, making the choices available during her time, would you like Tylenol or run to the emergency department (ED)? I bet that 14 century mom would pick Tylenol first. Why this example? At 10pm I saw a 23 year old, herself a mother, in the emergency department for generalized body aches that came on at 7pm. “Did you take anything for it?” I asked. “They gave me Tylenol when I got here,” she replied. Unknown to her she had a 100.7 F and why they gave her Tylenol on arrival. “Now all my pain is gone,” she added. Discharge-Viral illness. Did I expect her to know that? Not at all. Did she have to run to the ED because of body aches? Absolutely NOT. Is no one watching the Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, etc. commercials on TV? Something, TV, the 14 century mom did not have either yet given a choice she would have chosen Tylenol rather run her child to the ED for fever.
2. Airport and Boeing Dreamliner. Recently, I heard an up and coming entertainer talked about obstacles to get to where he was. One of those obstacles was missing a flight after waking up late and arriving late for an audition. Really? An obstacle. Given the opportunity, a pilgrim, 623 years ago, would NOT have missed the flight. Why? Because despite not having a clock, much less an alarm clock, it is VERY likely he would not have missed such opportunity. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called responsibility. Because irresponsibility is NOT an obstacle or a sacrifice either.
3. Toothache. Even 623 years ago, if given the choice between Tylenol for pain versus running to the dentist it is very likely he would have taken Tylenol.
4. Calculator. By age 35 (mother) and 42 (father), my parents, had own their third home and that was with four mouths to feed. That after moving across the ocean to a country they were not familiar with, did not speak the language and where they knew no one but 1-2 of their siblings. Imagine what they could have achieved then if they had more than an elementary education and the knowledge of how to use a calculator, as calculators existed then, to help them calculate their investments. Yet, kids today, with high school and higher educations, are still living with their parent who purchase their cars and insurances under the parent’s names to lower those costs. Adding to the sense of entitlement, the government encourages the same kids to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.
Future Envy. How ridiculous!?!
But some today will say things are different, although I disagree let’s give them that. Things are different, and VERY different I will add, THINGS TODAY ARE EASIER THAN EVER BEFORE! That is ALL that is different. Homes are more efficient. Cars are more efficient. Knit caps and mittens keep us warmer. Medicine is more accessible. EVERY single job available is easier. Daycare is more accessible. Dog care is more accessible. Technology has made everything more accessible and easier. We have the Internet. We no longer even have to type our searches, just ask Siri or Google. So yes I get it. Things are different. VERY different. They are EASIER!
Other than that, what is different are VALUES. That is ALL that is different. Does this article anywhere mention that for the first time in modern time, not 623 years ago but today, our children will die before their parents? No it does not mention that. Why? Because that is a fact no one wants to hear. That being the reason T-Ball was created, so that no one’s feelings are hurt—everyone bats, no outs, no one loses a game and at the end of the season everyone gets a trophy regardless if you contributed or sucked at playing the game. And! And! Why every parent, and some of the kids too, believe the kids are going to the Major Leagues. Please!
If anything, it is the present generation who should be ENVIOUS as it is they who are not able to cut the umbilicus from their parents. It is they who cannot survive aches and pains without medical attention. It is they who are not capable of doing math without a calculator. It is they who cannot travel to the corner store without asking Siri for directions.
So please, do not tell me I am envious of the future. What I am is amazed, proud and humbled by those who came before and who I honor to make the things they provided me with better. Thank you to my parents and grandparents who I met and to my great-grandparents who I did not meet.
*Picture is from a scene from the 1933 motion picture "Heroes for Sale."(Photo: Warner Bros./The Kobal Collection)