As grandparents it is very easy to jump onto a soapbox and start, “Young people today…Why, in my day…” etc etc…
It’s also very tempting, isn’t it?
While much has been said about millennials – children born from 1985 onwards, perhaps we should take a step back in time and consider what was said about our generations that came before.
Young people today are no good – still!
Socrates was a well-known and often quoted philosopher who had the enviable talent of capturing the ideals of a nation in just a handful of words.
This is one of my favorite quotes –
“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
Just as a reminder: Socrates lived in ancient Greece in 470 – 399 BC. He was the founder of modern Western philosophy and ethics, and whose influence was furthered by Plato who used many of his sayings in his plays.
When you read the quote above did you think about someone aged 20 something on their phone, privileged, and complaining about how hard their lives are? Or did you think about some knock-about kid in ancient Greece who is too busy hanging out with his friends to listen to his (or her) parents and teachers?
Perhaps it’s us!
It’s an undeniable fact that the older we get the less we like change. Many Baby Boomers have taken to using smart phones and computers, but not as easily as our children and grandchildren.
Did we help to set up the millennial generation because things like getting a job and forming relationships were easier for many of us?
You need a certificate or a degree to do many jobs today that we never needed. We did apprenticeships and worked at poorly paid jobs to get foot in an industry. We didn’t need degrees or diplomas to get a position. For many of us boomers, we just put our hand up and said we’d give it a go.
We expected to work long hours, and many of us were rewarded for it.
Perhaps we should remember what it was like when we were young. We were misunderstood and maligned for wanting to make our mark on the world. And, just perhaps, we should remember this when we are being critical of ‘young people today’.