These days, young people talk a lot about money and famous people. Girls want to go out with the popular boys; popularity can have several different meanings, and in some cases, even that they’re good at illicit activities. Again and again, we see in the news violent crimes that were committed by affluent young people, frequently against their parents or close relatives. More often than not, it’s about money, because their parents finally decided to cut them off; these kids feel cheated out of something they believe belongs to them – even if it doesn’t – and their reactions can be vicious.
Parents often complain that boys these days are very different from how they used to be. They say their kids are passive, indifferent to all and everything, that they have no inner strength, and that their ambition is totally devoted to achieving wealth. They have no projects, and although they dream of being rich and famous, they don’t seem to notice that what they want is a reward for an effort they’re not putting in.
Where did this kind of behavior come from? We first should check if young people now are truly more violent and defiant than previous generations. I don’t believe humankind is getting worse, but that we are certainly influenced the environment in which we are raised. We become what we observe, not what we hear.
It is true that human beings were always wired to take advantage of a situation, and have a faulty moral compass, which can be defined as an internal brake that stops us from doing things of which we disapprove. These days, many children grow seeing their parents, older siblings or other relatives boasting of how they bested other people and profited from it. We can’t care only for money and fame, then expect our children to be fascinated by knowledge and spend their nights trying to figure out the secrets of physics and mathematics. They’ll like what they perceive to be appreciated in their home. Their values match our materialistic culture, and what they really want is glory, at any price; they learned it from us.
Then, as if we had nothing to do with it, we paint ourselves as the innocent victims of their rudeness and excessive demands.
Maybe the only characteristic that effectively belongs to this younger generation alone is idleness. They’re not even that interested in pursuing sex, which used to be humankind’s primary motivation. They are passive, maybe from watching so much television, which demands nothing except surfing the channels. Many of our current young people are lazy, ambitious and materialistic. It’s an explosive mix.
We’ve been witnessing a growth in antisocial behavior, a decline in their morals and an increase in delinquent behavior. All of this is facilitated by drug use, so loved by those who tend to be lazy. But it’s only starting; considering the conditions in which most children are being raised, it can only get worse. It’s essential that we rethink the values we are passing on to our children.
Tradução: Amanda Morris