I would like to state for the record that this weeks’ column is purely an opinion piece regarding a realization I have arrived at. I recently had an eye opening experience that made me see firsthand the rapid moral decline in today’s youth — and the parents that are raising them.
My boyfriend and I both are in our late 20s and early 30s. We decided to spend last Saturday at Boston’s Museum of Science. Neither of us are fans of large crowds these days (for obvious reasons, if you’ve been out in public lately) but we thought it would be a fun and different way to spend an afternoon since we don’t get out much in our old age. While the museum itself was a good time and even educational, I could not help but notice the wild animals around me — and I don’t mean the taxidermy leopards behind the glass. Most of the children present, some as old as 9 or 10 years old, were screaming, running around, head-butting people, and climbing on museum displays and exhibits.
As I observed these out of control children and their parents, all I could see was incompetence and a general lack of civility. If the parents weren’t begging their children to behave, they were completely ignoring them. Yeah, because the one thing that’s going to make Little Johnny stop screaming with snot running down his nose is the adult and sole provider, either pleading with him or ignoring him altogether.
Not having children of my own, I am not really exposed to Generation Z firsthand or for any length of time. The only exposure I really have to these misguided youth is what I read in the media or see briefly on the train to work. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I must say that my museum experience was rather shocking. I didn’t feel like I was in the America I grew up in. While I realize my generation, the Millennials, have a bad rap for being self-centered and technology dependent (actually, dependent in every respect), the generation behind us is, in my opinion, going to be far worse.
The political correctness that was foisted upon my generation that required us to call people of different races by their assigned PC name, or getting accepted to a state university on the basis of skin color, has generated a new breed of apathetic, disengaged, unaccountable, and barely attentive parents. We are the generation that has been forced by school psychologists and wimpy teachers to drug kids rather than teach them to behave, or God forbid, read and write, add and subtract. And don’t even get me started on inventive spelling, which crept into my Catholic primary school just as I was entering high school. Generation Z is being raised without religion, rules, boundaries, reward for true accomplishment, dignity, and self-respect.
Fortunately, there are some from my generation whose parents were more resistant to the PC philosophy, and are raising good kids. I believe that it is their children that are getting suspended from school for gun action figures or wearing an NRA t-shirt. Why are these kids targeted for punishment but the out of control six year old who can’t focus his attention for more than two seconds is “diagnosed” as having a learning disorder, forced to take Ritalin, and tip-toed around? Why is only a certain type of child disciplined in today’s America? What kind of message are we, the Millennials and beyond, sending to the upcoming generation of children who truly don’t know any better?
This type of weak parenting is creating a social class of youngins that act out inappropriately, have no consequences, yet finds the strength to shun and attempt to punish those they don’t agree with politically. The kids wearing NRA t-shirts and playing with toy guns with their friends are slowly becoming the enemy of wussy liberal parents and their out of control offspring who just act on however they feel at the moment. Folks, it’s not the guns, video games, or whatever other inanimate object people claim that are killing – it’s the misguided, empty-soul, drugged-up young people that have been a product of this progressive, liberal agenda their parents have adopted. It’s secularism run amok.
So, how did we get into this mess? My theory is that after enough time, America’s “progressive” ideology was adopted by Generation X, who in general became more dependent upon material objects and the government to take care of them. They were brought up by Baby Boomers who, despite the hippie movement, in general, were hard workers and honest. And by “general” I mean in dramatically less numbers than society today. Earning an honest living and doing the right thing became less appealing to the Xers because, despite what many of their parents taught them or society expected, it was much easier and convenient to opt out of this lifestyle and take the easy road.
Once these people reproduced, the damage had been done. The result of this lifestyle and morality shift is evident in today’s youth. We see selfish, lazy, dependent children and adolescents who aren’t willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to not only become a successful individual professionally, but personally and spiritually. They have meltdowns when they’re “bullied”, they expect a manager’s salary for entry level work, and want a medal just for participating. When the going gets tough, they have no moral compass or religious foundation to fall back on because their parents have shown them that religion is an unrealistic, oppressive and judgmental institution. They do not see or know of anything or anyone that is larger than themselves. There is no higher being to whom they hold themselves accountable — and therefore no motivation or conviction to be honest, kind, and humble individuals.
In addition, how could we possibly expect Generation Z to be any more honest or better behaved than what those in in Washington, DC, and the White House? How can you hold your children to a high standard when you elect substandard people to serve you and this country? What this country is tolerating today, our children will embrace tomorrow.