Are kids these days really fair game? Do they deserve the derision, scorn and stigma that has been so generously heaped upon them?
For humorous purposes, imagine the following passage as if it were being said or shouted by an old man in a cranky voice.
Kids these days are lazy, disrespectful and ungrateful! Back in MY day, kids would walk 5,000 miles barefoot on broken glass just to get one cup of water AND THEN had to share it with their 38 siblings!
Forgive this gross exaggeration, but this is exactly how every “your generation is crap” lecture sounds to youth. And it is this moment, in their interactions with adults, when their eyes roll into the back of their heads and they would start thinking about dinosaurs.
Again, are kids these days really fair game? Would it be worthwhile to tell these old fools that every glorious generation is generally more tolerant and have more concern for social issues? That the care for the environment and are making an honest effort to create a better world? Well… no, not really. The “old fool,” as he is so disrespectfully called, has a point. Kids these days ARE lazy, disrespectful and ungrateful. But here is a jealously guarded secret: It has always been this way. According to the late and great Socrates:
The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
Next time grandpa is giving his grandkids a piece of his mind, (or his own kids, because whose fault is it that kids are running wild), make sure to tell him, in the most respectful way possible, to put THAT in his pipe and smoke it! Spoiled brats are a universal constant across every generation and culture. Even dear old grandpappy gave his own grandfather attitude when being scolded:
Ahh, what do you know? You never went to school! We’re the new generation. We have an education. We know everything!
It is worth mentioning that the “times have changed so grandpappy’s ideas and values are no longer relevant in the modern progressive world” argument will be won by Grandpa. Because when kids learn that he too had once acted like an arrogant and disrespectful child. It helps them question all those horrible things that adults keep saying about their peers.
Here is another secret: It does not make children feel good when adults tell them that THEY are the only ones who have ever misbehaved and that the world is now a horrible place because THEY are in it.
Like all kids these days, they would like to think that their heads are filled with radical new ideas that no one has ever thought of. One of those radical new ideas is that adults should not be so hard on youth today. They are only kids. Their lack of life experience is the cause of their shortcomings. It is the duty of adults to mentor children, not to discourage them. To prepare them for life and to guide them so that they too may become responsible, mature adults that will lead the world, which all must share.
Adults need to practice a little more patience and understanding. And to remember that they were once lazy, disrespectful and ungrateful kids. Teach these children. It is the elders’ duty as mentors. Kids should also exercise some patience and understanding. There is wisdom in the life experience of parents and grandparents to learn from. Life experience, which youth are so sorely lacking. One day, wisdom and experience will be possessed by today’s youth. Then they too will have the opportunity to yell at the next generation of lazy, disrespectful and ungrateful kids.
By Harrison Stamoudis
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Featured Image Courtesy of Sherene’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Carlo Cabanilla’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License