What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?
There’s a lot of handwringing going on at the moment. Apparently, we’re all doomed. Global Warming, the breakdown of society, crumbling infrastructure, the double-dip recession. Something — everything — is out to get us.
The reason for this gloom is not just that the northern hemisphere seems to be locked in the coldest winter for a million years (and I’m not exagerrating that much). I think it has something to do with a human need to parcel time up into easy to fret about chunks.
This time around the catalyst seems to be the end of the decade dubbed the “Noughties”, (although it isn’t. The decade ends next year — don’t get me started). Ten years in to the 21st century, we might be forgiven a little glance back to see what’s gone wrong (and it’s always the case that things have gone wrong).
Apparently, according to the self appointed opinion leaders, we’ve replaced the class war with an age war and mortgaged our grandchildrens’ future up to the hilt because we’ve had to bale out those individuals who wouldn’t bale us out. And despite our best efforts, it’s only going to get worse …
Well, my personal view of the past is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The problems of today are nothing new, we just talk about them in a different way. And because scared people are more eager to buy snake-oil cures, the “powers that be” have found a new and effective way of encouraging us to think that the world is indeed going to Hell on a handcart: bad news overload. After all, no news is good news.
Of course it’s been going on for a while. The quote that leads this blog is attributed to Plato (427-347 BC) and despite people of my parents’ generation bemoaning the fact that “kids were well behaved in our day”, there are documented stories of vandalism, cruelty and bullying even when the country was experiencing the “Dunkirk Spirit”. The same goes for finance, climate and the breakdown of society: it’s all happened before, believe me.
Actually, we’re most of us much better off these days: we have greater freedoms, we don’t have regular international wars and the average life expectancy keeps on rising (of course some people say that means we’re headed for a population catastrophe).
It would seem it’s not so much a case of glass half full. For some, the environmentally unsound glass is cracked and is completely empty.
To all of the moaning minnies out there, I have just one thing to say, cheer up for Heaven’s sake and give us all a break!