What really happens with progress

cartoon-uphill-bothways-cropped

Question: Did we actually become unproductive people just because we didn’t have to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow?

Its interesting to people watch, and see all the people always complaining about “today’s youth”… and realizing that we were in that same category a generation ago, and people still act as if this shaming youth is a new thing that is only now really relevant as if they are “worse”.

I remember parents complaining how “lazy” we were… how that us having access to “TV” and “phone” was making us less socially outgoing because we didn’t have to leave the house to talk to our friends, and what a tragedy that was. How we plain didn’t have the “respect” that we should for certain things. What a mess our rooms were… how long it took us to accomplish things… we were some messed up “kids”.

Kids now days have internet, they have access to more technology, and the funny thing is I see my generation now pulling the same old “Back in my day… we played outside” puffy chest rhetoric, and I just have to laugh at them. How self-righteous we become as we age.

The reality is that communication in a different form, is still communication. Maybe we didn’t have to knock on someone’s door unannounced to see if our friends could play, we just called and hoped they answered the phone and maybe kids today can waste even less time (and honestly be more respectful than just showing up unannounced) and send a quick text to see if their friend can do something instead.. but the notion that just because they have more useful tools at their disposal, makes them grow up to be ungrateful and unproductive citizens is…. to put it into an older term…. “Horse-Hockey”.

So what is the real deal here? Honestly I think its far more an issue of pride and fear on our parts. Its interesting, we all claim to want better for our kids, but the second someone talks about progressing our society, people seem to get scared… or maybe plain jealous.

In America here, we’re unwilling to offer free or low-cost education, mostly because we have an attitude that if you don’t have to work as hard to figure out how to pay for it, that you won’t appreciate it. Then in the next breath we complain about what others “don’t seem to understand”.

We could help with that you know…. education does wonders….

The reality is that this is a myth that people wouldn’t work as hard to learn things if they had an chance at it. If someone has the opportunity to study things they care about, they work harder at excelling at it- that is the actual tendency.

I say this as someone who had one scholarship, used it up and had to stop there. Because I didn’t have the resources to get enough funds to both survive and pay for college at the same time, I had to give up on getting the college education at that point in time and had to put it off, and focus more on the maintaining an ability to survive over an ability to contribute to society the way I would have liked.

No the reality is everyone just does the best with what they have, and we have to at some point realize that we are actually holding back our society’s health by harboring these attitudes about road-blocking our youth’s ability to make it to the next step a bit quicker, all because they should “have to suffer”… “like we did”.

Truth is progress is going to come wither we like it or not, and slowing it down by stifling it because of our own need to feel superior just seems archaic.

WE should be smarter than that. The reality is that if some base things come a bit easier to the next generation, it just means that instead of having to spend their time having to plain survive, maybe their focus can more quickly be invested in things like curing cancer, or innovating things to where more have more access to clean water. They could be focusing more on things that would be an actual difference in the world. THAT would be investing in our country.. in our communities.

The chilling fact is that our youth won’t be unproductive or lazy or unfeeling because of technology, easier access to education or even a tendency to play video games. Infact with the increased amount of communication possible, it is now possible for our kids to have actual conversations with someone across the world from them all while playing a game together. They build friendships and gain understandings about situations and countries and cultures far different from their own.

This wasn’t an everyday occurrence for us growing up. Our kids in general have more opportunities to learn empathy than we ever did, which gives them more of a complete picture than anything we seem so proud of “having to go through”.

No, our kids won’t lose value as people from any of those things. They have far more chance of being unproductive or lazy from the things they learn and replicate from us. From our attitudes, mistaken pride over what “we had to do” and the limitations we’ve accepted. From us choosing not to invest in them. Lets take a little initiative ourselves and choose ourselves to break this cycle, and care about our future. Maybe its more time that our generation actually “grows up”.

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