On “Kids Today”

Ok, so I’ve just about had my fill of these “What’s Wrong With Young People Today” articles. Not only have the “kids are selfish, spoiled and entitled” sentiment been around literally since Socrates, they’re overlooking an important point: “Kids today” expect a lot because they’ve been promised a lot. Because they were raised by the adults in their lives to believe that as long as they don’t royally screw up, they will inherit a world with even more promise than the world of their parents. And I don’t say that as an indictment of our parents’ generation: that ideal was the truth they saw in their lives. But the fact is, the world changed drastically about five years ago, and what was a fair and reasonable expectation of life’s trajectory was completely transformed.

I don’t think most people in their late 20’s/early 30’s believe they are special snowflakes entitled to be rock stars by 27. Many of us, are however, disappointed by feeling like we’ve worked our asses off for ten years and aren’t very much further ahead. And frustrated and fearful that our parent’s standard of living seems increasingly out of reach for us.

Life isn’t fair and the world isn’t equal, and each of us has to put on our big girl panties and deal with that. But painting an entire generation with a belittling, condescending, self-absorbed brush is really kind of a jackass attitude.

The vast majority of us work very hard. Most of us work hard without the guarantee of job security, health insurance, upward mobility. Many of us feel like we had the rug pulled out from under us. So rather than regurgitating the “10 Things We Need To Give Up To Be Happy,” or “What’s Wrong with Generation Why-Me,” or any other variation of “Why I Think You’re Living Your Life Wrong,” can we all just take that time and energy and be supportive of one another and the work that we’re doing (or not doing) and the kids we’re trying to give a decent life to (or enjoying or work without kids) and remember that we’re all just doing the best we can?

Be loving. Be understanding. Be forgiving. Because it’s who you are, not because they deserve it. And for god’s sake, forgive yourself too.

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