By Thomas Holmes
Hopefully you’re old enough to remember those classic children’s books, “Choose Your Own Adventures”. You know, those stories where your Code Name was Jonah and you had to decide, as you read, if you were going to believe that shady character or tempt fate down that dark alley. If you choose poorly, you might find out on the next page that you were dead. If you choose wisely, the world was saved and you got the girl! Yeah, well, based on the latest research, published last week in Psychology Today, today’s youth are instead opting for “Choose Your Own Quiet Night at Home Surrounded by Stuffed Animals, Kenny G Music And Lots Of Anxiety Medication”.
The article, written by Boston College Professor, Peter Gray, continues to corroborate previous concerning findings from The Chronicle of Higher Education and a 2013 study from Mary Washington University. Findings that essentially suggest that we are surrounded by a generation of hand-wringing, navel-gazing sissies, over-washed in a lifetime of entitlement and participation trophies. As they’ve grown into college students, these milquetoasts are incapable of bellying up to challenges, accepting the reality of their limitations and unable to discern what actually is a real situation that requires counseling and what is just a spider in the corner. Literally. Professor Gray writes that 911 calls by students include cries for help because someone saw a mouse. That’s a 911 call in today’s world, people.
According to the article, professors are frustrated to the point of being afraid to give students the grades they deserve – even if it’s a B – in case it ignites a symphony of weeps and moans because the brat can’t stand the thought of anything less than perfection, deserved or otherwise. In that sense, I guess it’s a little sweet justice since we can partially blame the hippie generation of professors that have been poisoning the well of education for decades with thinly veiled Marxist fantasies.
Of course, the easy target is the generation of children and young adults currently running to counselors because someone called them a “bitch”. The real dingbats in all of this are, of course, the parents. As Professor Gray notes, children had little chance growing up to “play, explore, and pursue their own interests away from adults”. This lack of development means mom and dad failed to give junior the room he needed to fall and get up on his own experience through his own eyes how to navigate challenge. So much for the virtues of play dates and helmets for frigging everything.
To borrow from George Carlin, whatever happened to just a kid playing with a stick?