Essay 4: Hypocrisy of a Generation
Hypocrisy of a Generation
In today’s society, it is almost commonplace to blame the world’s problems on today’s youth. The previous generation has been known to make assumptions like ‘video games are the source of aggression and awkwardness in our youth’, or ‘young people today lack the morals and respect that we had as children’. But, looking back at history, it is apparent that this is indeed not the case. It seems as though past generations have always blamed the world’s problems on the current youth population, and, if history does in fact repeat itself, will continue until the end of time. I intend to prove that the youth of today does not have the need to be blamed and should, in fact, be praised. I will discuss the differences and the similarities in the two generations, and touch on why it’s obvious that the current generation is not so bad after all.
Though the previous generation, Baby Boomers, would like you to believe they were and always have been different from today’s generation, Millennials, the number of similarities are almost shocking. “Each generation attempts to establish their own identity and the generation that comes before reacts with shock and indignation. There is truly very little difference in the mentality of youth between generations” (Hartwell-Walker, Marie; Has Child Behavior Worsened?). Looking back at the Baby Boomers, one will notice that they were thought of as the ruin of the world by their parents. The stereotype of that generation was that all of them were long haired, drugged out hippies that had little care for self-betterment and want to work. Both Millennials and Baby Boomers are considered the generation of ‘me’, saying that they are self-centered, egotistical, and have a sense of entitlement. And both stereotypes are doing an injustice to the two generations. For every person in the 60’s and 70’s who went out and joined a cult and did LSD, another two were heading off to fight and possibly loose there life in a war. Just as for every person now who spends there life in there parents basement glued to a flat screen, there are two others who are traveling to other countries to aid people who are in dire need of help. In all cases, the youth generation always pushes on the previous generation’s ideals and beliefs to establish the fact that they aren’t their parents. But by the same token this proves that they are very similar. Every generation has had to deal with major changes and many hardships, so it’s not fair to say that one generation had it better or worse than the other. But as with everything there are some major differences that need to be addressed.
In today’s time, it is easy to lose hope in everything around us, even our children. “Despite strong evidence that teenagers are more responsible and have better behavior than previous generations, few adults believe it. The reason may be that adults quickly forget how they behaved as teenagers or they over-generalize from teens they know personally.”(Sessions Stepp, Laura; Has Child Behavior Worsened?). With unemployment high, the threat of another war on our hands, and political leaders at each other’s throats, it’s no wonder why the previous generation doesn’t think that the current will improve things. But this is a total misconception. Of course there are plenty of cases where youth join gangs, do drugs, break laws, and in general do things that the previous think they wouldn’t have done. But in truth the real differences are that most youth today are much more responsible than their parents. The levels of underage alcohol consumption, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse has been on a steady decrease. And in many cases, today’s youth is much more accepting of others than the previous. Same-sex marriage and interracial marriage is now an almost everyday occurrence, as opposed to the pure hatred the ideas received in the previous years. People now fight for human and civil rights much more than ever before and are constantly trying to change things for the better.
Now, as you can see, the differences in the generations may be glaring, and the two generations may not see eye to eye on most issues, but the truth is that each generation is not that different from the previous. Some forget what it was like growing up and seem to think they were perfect angles. “While media portrayals often depict youth as irresponsible, lazy, and morally corrupt, our study offers a different perspective, in which youth are responsible to themselves and others and value being involved in their communities. It also sheds light on an emerging generation that in many ways is more committed to these values than were their predecessors 20 years ago”( Salmond, Kimberlee; Has Child Behavior Worsened?). But the truth is that no one is perfect.
Moten, Ron. "Video Games Are Responsible for Increased Youth Violence." Has Child Behavior Worsened? Ed. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Rpt. from "Violence on the Screen, Violence in the Streets." Washington Post 28 Dec. 2012. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Salmond, Kimberlee, and Judy Schoenberg. "Teens Are More Civic-Minded Now than in the Past." Has Child Behavior Worsened? Ed. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Rpt. from "Good Intentions: The Beliefs and Values of Teens and Tweens Today." 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2014
Rainer, Thom S., and Jess W. Rainer. "Younger Generations Are More Accepting of Others." Has Child Behavior Worsened? Ed. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Rpt. from "The New Normal of Openness and Diversity." The Millennials: Connecting to America's Largest Generation. B&H Publishing: Nashville, TN, 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Stepp, Laura Sessions. "Today's Teens Are Better Behaved than Their Parents Were." Has Child Behavior Worsened? Ed. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Rpt. from "Teens Doing Better: Why Don't Adults Believe It?" 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2014
Hartwell-Walker, Marie. "Youth Today Are Really No Different than Previous Generations." Has Child Behavior Worsened? Ed. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Rpt. from "What's the Matter with Kids Today?" 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2014
"Modern Children Lack Basic Manners." Has Child Behavior Worsened? Ed. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Rpt. from "Hold Parents Accountable for Their Child's Lack of Manners." The Florida Patriot (24 June 2012). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.