Sometimes I feel like we’re already living in some weird, futuristic world that used to be the stuff of science fiction, you know, the world Hollywood portrays as being dark, overcast, and colorless, and where unthinkable laws and selfish practices abound. Our future is now decided by a generation of folks who barely know when, where, or how to vote, and when they do vote, their decision is based on, How will this affect me personally… in the next five minutes?
I have a theory about how this came to pass. We speak highly of the Greatest Generation, those hardy souls who struggled through the Great Depression and World War II with persistence, strength, and ingenuity. Naturally, they didn’t want their children to suffer as they had, and they worked hard to make everything easier for them. As any parent knows, it’s an understandable desire. But unfortunately, a couple of generations down the line, and we end up with a culture who believes they’re entitled to things, and if they suffer it is always someone else’s fault and they must be compensated.
The inherent brilliance of Americans has led to some amazing forward leaps in technology, while simultaneously creating a generation of young people who are well-connected in cyberspace but increasingly more disconnected on a personal level. In cyberspace you can be rude, disrespectful, anonymous, and regress to humans’ basest instincts.
This is a world now where a mother can establish detailed rules for her 13-year-old son’s cell phone use, and this event makes national news, seen to be as astonishing as the technology about which she’s establishing rules. She’s being praised (and yes, I agree, good for her); people want copies of the contract.
Some will say it is newsworthy because her contract was 18 points long. Okay, granted, neither my parents nor my friends’ parents ever wrote down the rules for us, but I bet if they had, there would have been far more than 18 points.
So on the one hand, I’m sad that such things make the news these days, but on the other hand, I applaud the contract-making mom for taking a stand for good parenting and drawing attention to the fact. Hopefully, many parents will be inspired, and it will be a step in the right direction. Parents, take note. The actions of future generations depend on your actions today. It all starts in the home.