10/30/2021 Our Next “Younger Generation”   Leave a comment

Welcome to the Every Useless Thing discussion on up-and-coming younger generations. It’s obvious that the older generations are responsible for the various nicknames to the younger generations i.e. Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials), Gen Z, and the internet generation. Of course they never name themselves because that’s the job of the next generation to take care of. It’s all so silly. That’s why a history lesson is in order. Here we go . . .

I remember as a child being told by my parents that the younger generation (including me) were screwed up, uncaring, and unthinking. I took great offense to that and it just motivated me to rebel at every opportunity much to their chagrin. Jump ahead thirty-five years and I actually heard myself saying the same kinds of things during one of my angry moments in dealing with my son. Soon after that conversation I was having a coffee at a local café (pre-pandemic) and I just started chuckling to myself. The more I thought about the conversation with my son the funnier it became because it’s not often I’m able to recognize an epiphany when I have one.

I read quite a bit and the diversity of my subject matter is what makes it so much fun. The following quotation was in a recent book I read and as soon as I saw it I began chuckling again. Even 5000 years ago the adults were saying the same damn things about their younger generations and it keeps me optimistic about the generations to come. Also having a close relationship with a few of the younger generation keeps me on my toes and aware of their thoughts, ideas, and approaches to us grown-ups. Broad brushing a group of individuals is foolish and should be avoided at all costs.

A tablet from ancient Assyria, from about 2800 B.C., has been found that states: “Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common.”

More than 2000 years later, Socrates complained, “Children are now tyrants . . .They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize over their teachers.”

And Plato also wrote of his students: ” What is happening to our young people? They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions, their morals are decaying, what is to become of them?”

If reading that doesn’t make you chuckle just a little then you’ve got a problem. It gives me a great deal of comfort to think that the grown-ups then were moaning and complaining just like we do now and how the next generation will be moaning and complaining about us.


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