Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Lost Generation

Reading an article in the paper yesterday, it suddenly seemed obvious: for all intents and purposes, we are dealing with a lost generation; lost for lack of discipline, lost for being spoiled, lost for having never heard "no", lost for ever being adolescent. The article discussed how police forces around the province are having difficulty with their new recruits. It mentioned that these recruits do not respect authority, argue with their superior, are not willing to accept their assignments, etc.
That's really scary but, in a way, not surprising. It's been brewing in families all over the world for a few decades now. Parents, too busy with their own pursuit of wealth and happiness, have forgotten that children need to be raised. It is so much easier to be buddy-bubby than it is to enforce discipline; so much easier to buy a new toy than to spend time and get involved... The end result of this is that we, as a society, are faced with a generation of eternal teenagers, unable to mature, expecting everything but not willing to invest anything.
I know this is a generalization; that there are great young people out there, but the fact is there are more leeches now than ever before. Every family has a story of a young adult who still lives with his parents, not because he (or she) cannot afford to live on his (or her) own, but just because it's so nice to have mom and dad do the groceries, cook dinner, make the bed and do the laundry....
I am concerned with our future. We can't afford to not only loose productivity from able bodied youth but also have to support them, over and above those who already need to be supported.
What's the answer? I really don't have a clue. There is no quick fix for a problem that's been in the works for 40+ years. The solution must start with the parents but it is difficult to expect the lost generation will be better parents than their own.
My hope is that, over time, they will learn to become responsible, productive members of society. Otherwise, I am condemned to work until I die because there will be no one to replace me.

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