My favorite pastime is analyzing American society and the way our brains work. Sometimes I wonder if I should have majored in sociology or psychology, but then I remember I’m horrible at behavioral sciences.
Nonetheless, there is a topic that has been brewing in my mind all semester. Why is our generation so entitled?
We all know a person, or twenty, that is close-minded, privileged and easily offended. I fall under this category more often than I’d care to admit.
We have our opinions and refuse to see the counterpoint. We can’t back up our thoughts. While it’s true every opinion is valid, we have a horrible habit of refusing to admit when we’re wrong.
Our arguments are petty and lack depth. If someone doesn’t agree with us or says something that is the slightest bit rude, our whole worlds are thrown off their axes.
In a lot of ways, I believe this is because of the way our society thinks children should be raised. A lot of us were sheltered, never truly punished for our disobedience and were given awards for participation.
There’s a fine line between encouraging children to be confident and unintentionally teaching them to be self-absorbed.
I know most parents would never do these things on purpose. They only want what’s best for their child; they want them to succeed. But simply participating and receiving an award will not encourage a child to try harder. Why work harder if you’ll already be praised for showing up?
We haven’t learned how to properly budget. A lot of this generation had parents who would buy them anything and everything. I once knew a girl in junior high whose parents would give her $200 any time she wanted to go to the mall.
When we are thrown out into the world on our own, we still expect our parents to help us financially. This is a problem.
Honestly, we’re afraid of hurting children’s feelings. We don’t want them to be unhappy—ever.
What if all the other kids have the latest technology, but your child doesn’t? What if they feel inadequate because they don’t own name-brand clothing? Are we supposed to buy them all of these expensive things that will just be outdated in a year?
What if their classmate does better than them at math? Are we supposed to convince them they’re both the best at that subject?
We are in constant need of affirmation. You aren’t just smart, you’re brilliant. You aren’t pretty, you’re gorgeous. If a compliment isn’t of the highest degree, it means nothing. In fact, it’s nearly offensive.
There’s a mindset I’ve seen engraved in my generation’s brains. They’re convinced they succeed at everything. It’s really hard to take people seriously when they have never experienced humility.
I struggle greatly with science. I’ve never been a good runner. I will never be able to draw a person’s face without it looking like a caricature horribly gone wrong. I know what I’m not good at, and I’ve accepted it. Because of this, it makes it really hard for me to understand people who haven’t.
We are the best. We matter the most. Everyone should think we are great. No one is allowed to be better than us. No one can disagree with us. We are almighty, all-knowing geniuses.
We’ve forgotten other people matter and deserve respect, just as we do. We disrespect professors and elders, expect to get promoted without putting forth effort and see ourselves as the coolest person who has walked the face of the earth. What a miserable way to live.
So I will leave you with this: Is there any hope in the next generation if we continue to act like this?