Many times I hear adults, parents and grandparents complain about children and teenagers, their behavior, their lack of respect, their lack of moral compass.
‘In my day…’
‘If we’d behaved like that, we would have been …….’
You’ve heard it. One generation outlining the faults and shortcomings of the next.
It seems like it’s an epidemic sometimes, a sport, and a national pastime.
I worked in a toyshop for years, trust me, I’ve heard every complaint there is about the evils of youth.
It’s not a new idea either,
“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
Who said this? Some politician or celebrity from the 50’s, or the 90’s maybe???
No, the philosopher Socrates born in 469BC in Rome.
But still I don’t see it that way!
How do trends, styles, fashion become so quickly and widely adopted?
They are continually put before our eyes. T.V., magazines, bill boards and of course the Internet tell us that certain trends are the way to go.
Take double denim for instance. In the late 80’s and early 90’s it was fine to wear a denim jacket with jeans, all the rage, but in the last 10 years it’s been a No No. Double Denim, uh uh.
About 12 months ago though, it started to creep back into the fashion world, double denim is ok! Now I don’t know all the fashion rules around it, but I know my kid’s attitudes changed to it.
It went from fashion suicide to a trend.
Nothing changed in the physical world to make double denim different, but it was put before people’s eyes and therefore became acceptable, normal, usual, something to ‘follow’.
Those of us who believe in the Bible, may recall that this idea of what is set before our eyes can affect what we become, is demonstrated in the story of Jacob in Genesis chapter 30 and is also outlined in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
What we put before our eyes affects what we become.
What we see, affects our expectation, our values and our choices.
What is in front of us contributes to how we see ourselves.
We learn by example.
Parents and Adults have the opportunity to influence the young around them, to model good choices and responsible living.
This quote by Brene Brown.
‘We are the most in-debt … obese … addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history.’
Saddens and disturbs me.
I don’t want to be an example of those things to my children and grandchildren, to a generation rising to leadership and influence in our world.
Can we as adults accept that the kids and teenagers we have are at least in part the product of our choices, our example, our values, and our society?
Next time you feel inclined to lash out about the kids today, look at yourself and those in your own age group and consider how could we be a better example.
How could society, parents, the media send a picture of a life worth living, for those who follow behind us.
How could we display self-control, instead of excess and possibly addiction?
How could we model integrity instead of ‘she’ll be right.’ ‘Everyone’s doing it.’?
How could we display purity instead of lust?
Kindness instead of judgment
And responsibility instead of self-indulgence?
Everyone makes their own choice, but if there’s not a consistent healthy message being lived out in front of a developing life, then it’s not hard to see why young people struggle.
I think we would do well to look at ourselves and our generation before pointing out the faults of another.
Perhaps if we as individuals did what we could to NOT be in debt, obese, addicted and medicated, our voice would count for more in molding a generation of champions.
To consider another quote from Socrates,
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Let’s take a look at our own lives before sitting in judgment of others.