I pass a high school in the high-rent district on my drive to work each morning and couldn’t help but notice the string of clones walking to campus. I guess teens of most generations dress, speak, and behave similarly to fit in with their peers. There is a unique distinction about this generation of teens from those previous: each girl had a Starbucks latte in one hand and a smartphone in the other. The boys were too busy holding their pants up to hold a latte.
Parents generally say that they want their kids to have a better life than they do. It would appear that this isn’t working out very well. Prospects for today’s youth are more meek than those of their parents. I wonder what kids have to look forward to if they are given everything they could ever want?
If you ask most people what attributes they like best about those whose company they enjoy, you will normal hear phrases like “down to earth,” “humble,” or “a normal guy.” You will rarely hear somebody say, “I really enjoyed his sense of entitlement.” So wouldn’t we be helping our kids if we allowed them to struggle some? Shouldn’t they learn to work for what they have? Isn’t that what the so-called ‘Greatest Generation’ learned? Don’t we look up to those people? The ones who grew up with nothing and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps?
So many of these kids have a nicer computer than I do, they have a better TV in their bedroom than I have in my living room, they get nicer cars for their “Sweet 16” than I drive now as an adult. These new iPhones sell for about $700, not to mention the $70/mo or so the service costs. And a latte every day is what? $80/mo just for their morning coffee? My whole monthly food budget in college was $100/mo. Think about that. Isn’t this type of indulgence creating the very sense of entitlement that we despise in others?
When others do things for me, it really diminishes my desire to get off of my duff to do anything for myself. I didn’t go to school or pay attention in class for the intrinsic enjoyment of learning. I did it in the hope of creating a good life for myself, to be able to have things that I didn’t have growing up. People didn’t buy me the things I wanted, so I had to give myself the ability to buy them for myself.
Our kids are so distracted by technology and entitlements that they are being robbed of the world around them. They learn to write and think in text fragments. I feel like I am watching natural selection beginning to take its course toward extinction. I hope America can still churn out creative, free thinking children for future generations. Otherwise, who will write? Who will cause us to think? Who will produce great music, literature or artwork?