Here's a section of an email I got from an older professor recently:
"Today's youth love luxury, they have bad manners, don't like authority, they show disrespect to older people and would rather text than play outside. Children are dictators rather than citizens in their own community. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, eat up sweets at the table, cross their legs, and terrorize their professors."
He also said:
If the whole world depends on today's youth, I can't see the world lasting another 100 years.
Now, this is a really old guy so hopefully you can cut him some slack. He seems to be stuck in his ways and I doubt he'd be able to change his opinion. (he literally can't) What's his name you might ask? Professor Socrates, PhD in the School of Life. He's 2,490 years old...
Both quotes above were taken from Socrates (I modified the first one to fit our time - here's original; second one is verbatim, minus any losses in translation).
And guess what someone said about Socrates' grandparent's generation?
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint. — Hesiod
You see, I've noticed that every generation thinks that the next generation is screwed up and going to cause the world to go to 💩. I know I have done this. I used to always think that the younger hockey players sucked compared to my year. "Hockey is going to shit" I would think to myself. Yet, here we are, and hockey — and, more importantly, life — continues to chug along. We proved both Hesiod and Socrates wrong. *🎤 drop*
Don't get me wrong, we have some very interesting things to deal with that I think are unique for our time. Nuclear weapons and social media are the two that are most worrisome for me and I don't think technologies like that have ever been seen before. With that being said, did you know that people were freaked out about books when they first came out? They were worried that books would make it so that people wouldn't talk to each other. 🤣Same thing happened with printing press, motorvehicles, the list goes on. Generally speaking, humans don't like change. Ya, you do need to focus to read books and you can't really talk but there's a lot of good, useful things books lead to.
I think this is a call to action of a few things:
- A lesson in history / Lindy effect We (humans) say this every generation. LOL It's a tale as old as time. We always think the next generation is going to screw things up. It's very easy to idealistically say "back in my day, we did X, Y, and Z all while walking a mile to school in a blizzard without a jacket".
- Some humility. No generation (not mine, yours, etc.) is God's gift to mankind. We all have pros and cons. My grandparent's generation brought major advances in technology and science BUT also brought the worst wars humanity has ever scene. We are more alike than people like to think we are. Further, do you know who raised X generation / built the technology we use today? lol It wasn't us! "Those who criticize our generation forget who raised it."
- Embracing change. The only certainty is that there will be no certainty. We need to be constantly iterating and adapting. Hate change? You're gonna really hate extinction!
- Most importantly, partnership and collaboration I think a lot of younger people my age overlook the knowledge and wisdom that older people have. Sure, they might not know how to use Snapchat properly or heard what Chloe said to Kim, but they have much experience in the game of life that can be very beneficial. We (my generation) need to have some humility and mutual respect too! I used to be quite cocky around this (maybe I still am). A good book to check out is "30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Humans."
There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew. — Marshall McLuhan
Written: October 21, 2020
- The flip side of this is Dr. Beak