Answer me this. Are we not as a people, a product of our environment and the society that we live in? This is not to say that the only factor in a person’s life is their environment and society, but there are multiple variables that result in why a generation is the way that they are.
Infamous professor of psychology and chief experimenter behind the Stanford Prison Experiments, Dr. Philip Zimbardo, says that we all are influenced by the many environments we are a part of throughout our daily lives and lifehood. We have been a part of institutions since we were first born (e.g., family, school, work, clubs/organization, etc).
To those people who claim that this generation is just not well prepared, I would like to say thanks for doing such a great job in preparing us. We didn’t create this world or choose to be a part of it, but we’re dealing with what has been given to us. And if we’re more fortunate than the last generation, so be it. We will use our resources and continue to make the life better for those in the present and future generations. Isn’t that a reason why we have kids?
Fact of the matter is, times change. Yes, back in the day, our parents used to walk to school. They had one pair of shoes to play basketball and go to church wearing, they ate dirt when they were hungry, they knew how to stretch $1 for two weeks, and all their belongings could fit into a handy sack. But this is the year 2010. We are in a recession, future generations WILL have to pay off our debt and mistakes, we are in the middle of two wars (Afghanistan becoming the longest war in American history since Vietnam), the Gulf region has seen the worst environmental disaster ever, and we have a dysfunctional political system.
On a more micro level, movies today cost $10 (you’ll spend atleast $20 if you want to have a snack and a drink), it’s $40 to fill up your gas tank, and media packages cost an average of $30 per month (i.e., cable, Internet, and multimedia phone charges). This world we live in is not cheap and it never has been. It’s not fair, it’s stressful, and this is the world we have to deal with.
This is a different generation. Fact is, we’re going to do things much differently than the last generation and the cycle will hopefully continue for many years. Politics, religion, and race is seen differently from this generation than from the eyes of our parents and their parents. Just watch the TV and see. Things are not want they used to be. So, don’t jump down our throats because of the world you’ve created for us. Maybe you should take a step back and evaluate what you did to contribute to why we behave and view the world the way we do. We want to be better than the last generation. We don’t want to be worse off and certainly not the same.
The great thing is that we are beginning to see a political constituency that is much more informed than past generations because of the technologies we have become so used to today. I’m tired (and I’m sure others are too) of feeling guilty for having a better life than others. I will feel this way no more. If I’m fortunate, there is a reason for that and I’m going to make the most of a rare opportunity.
At times, things for this country look bleak, but there is always hope in the next generation, particularly this one. For the nay-sayers that believe that there is no hope for this generation, they’re really saying that there is no hope for a future that they had a hand in creating.