I often wonder about the youth of today. Before I go on, I will say that my own teen son has had his share of troubles, which caused me heartbreak and stress. So I myself am not immune to the problems that the youth of today face.
Our society has become a violent one-just turning on the TV nowadays brings images of war, riots, and other unpleasant news our way. I can remember the days when the class bully was a pain in the ass, and pretty damn good at shaking the timid kids down for their lunch money, but that was about it. Today, we have bullying that extends far beyond the reach of the schoolyard-invading our homes and lives on a much more personal level. And social websites contribute to it, unfortunately.
Even adults get into the act, I've seen some pretty good bloggy fights in the past couple of years I've been blogging-and I kind of have to wonder if these people would even have considered bullying or commenting negatively if they were to do it face to face like the old days, not under the guise of an anonymous post or fake ID. Just think too, that even the ones being bullied sometimes stand up for themselves... look at how many shootings and violent events we've seen in the workplace and in schools the past few years. I can remember people snickering about so and so going postal-but today those threats are taken seriously. Just a few wrong words, even if joking, and you can find your sorry ass in a heap of trouble. Ask the foreign diplomat who made a pit stop in Denver last night courtesy of 2 F-16's due to his stupid comment.
Kids today seem to want things handed to them, the latest cell phones, iPods, laptops, brand name clothing and shoes-it all comes with the territory and the need to fit in. Just because they don't have these things doesn't mean it is the end of the world...but to them, it certainly feels that way. I know I felt that way when, in seventh grade, the note was stuck in my locker telling me the 13 or so things I needed to do to fit in with a certain group of students. They even signed it-and I still have their note, to this day. No, I didn't rush out and buy everything they wanted me to get. Because I discovered that being in that particular group wasn't worth it. Hmmm... maybe that's why I didn't go to my 25th reunion this past year. Looking back now, I probably should have. And brought the note... and let them read it, lol. Because now as middle aged (geez, it sucks to say that!) forty somethings I doubt very much if wearing Levis and buying my jackets at Joseph's Sporting Goods store really matters anymore.
Our world has definitely changed-sometimes I do think it is not for the better. It's hard to live in a world where there are so many negatives being thrown at you from all directions. You struggle to find the good in things, but sometimes it isn't always easy. Sometimes the term "Hell on Earth" really makes sense. As a parent, I am constantly watching for any changes in my children. We talk about bullying, and about events both happening in the world today and in their world (school and social life) by doing this, and keeping the lines of communication open, it definitely helps with the parenting part of things.
Today's world has become a scary place. Much different from when I was growing up. I honestly don't envy the youth of today, even if they have all the neat techie gadgets I would have LOVED as a kid. They have so many things being thrown at them, that they seem older than their years at times. I worry that they won't take the time to appreciate the carefree times of their youth, the best time of their lives-instead of focusing on everything that is wrong with the world, try to focus on what is right. Learn to get along without texting, sending IM's etc... because one day it might not even exist. Every problem has a solution, take the time to try to find it.
Appreciate the time you have NOW, dream about what the future holds and live for today. Live simply, simply live...