it’s a typical statement made by many adults, no matter the age, and it usually starts with “kids these days…” or “when i was a kid…” and glorifies the years of their youth while demonizing the youth today. i’ve said it myself, even, when i babysit a 5-yr-old with an iPad or i hear of elementary schools that give away condoms. i shake my head and reflect on the (perceived) simplicity of my own childhood.
a couple of my regulars at the coffee shop today started their own version of this conversation today. their topic: no longer teaching cursive in school. as members of the baby boomer generation, this is simply unfathomable to them. to me, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. i don’t use cursive; i don’t know many under 40 who do. perhaps it really is unnecessary. but it was funny to hear one of these gentlemen argue it, as though the subject alone would bring the downfall of the entire school system as we know it.
the truth is, the “system’s” been in a state of failure for a very long time, not just schools, but families and neighborhoods and other organizations concerning children, and this all started before most of these kids were even born. it started with their parents, and their parents’ parents. it started with absentee-fathers and overworked mothers. it started with underfunding to the poor and marginalized areas of cities. it started with racial hatred and misunderstanding.
all this brokenness just continues to pile on top of itself, the work of generations of adults and their messy mistakes. in our current state of affairs, where nations drop bombs, and mothers murder their children, and the rich are allowed to get wealthier at the expense of the poor, and our government members get paid more than nearly 90% of their constituents…perhaps we should be shaking our heads more often, and saying “adults these days….” and then looking at ourselves as the problem instead.