I hear it all the time from either people with kids or simply old enough to have kids. The sentences are all some variation of “Kids these days…” followed by some denouncement of the state of today’s youth. Either kids today do not know anything… the music they listen to, particularly hip hop, is horrible compared to back in the day… the kids today are lazy…they do not value hard work, education and want and expect everything to be given to them… the kids today are spoiled and unappreciative… the kids today do not realize how easy they have it and how lucky they are… The lists of complaints go on and on.
There may be some truth to all of the assertions made against today’s youth. In the United States and more advanced countries where technological innovations are commonplace, life generally speaking is probably easier for kids today than ever before. However, what any older generation fails to understand is that the exact same things were said about them when they were kids.
Think about it, every generation has essentially had it worse or more difficult than the present generations. Back in the day, and I can actually remember this myself. When an adult told a kid, “get out of here and go kick rocks,” that was an actual activity for kids. Games and ingenuity were necessities for kids prior to technology. There were generations that did not have balls (and I am actually referring to round bouncing objects). Then there were no televisions. Then there was no cable and no video games. Then there were only basic video games.
As technology and innovations have given every new generation more then the previous, it almost goes without saying that each newer generation of kids has it easier than the previous. What is amusing is how easily the “new” older generation so quickly forgets that only years before the prior older generation was making the same complaints and assessments about them as youth.
As we gain more material possessions and technological advantages, it is probably safe to say that makes each generation a little softer and more entitled then each previous. That is for better or worse; progress. So stop complaining so much about the kids today, when not that many years earlier you were those kids to your elders. Sure you had it harder than the kids today, just like our parents and grandparents had it much harder than we could probably ever imagine.
Don’t preach and complain about younger generations, but try and teach them. I realize that part of “kids today” is that most think they know it all, but be patient with them to the same degree others needed to be patient with us. Eventually they will learn or at least you will hope they will want to learn. Remain patient and understanding that lessons from the past always provide greater perspective for the future. Technology is not slowing down. There are things happening in our lifetime that most of us only thought existed in sic-fi books and movies.
Embrace the change, because holding onto our pasts will only keep us from truly enjoying the ever-changing world that clearly stops for no one.