Every older generation has always looked at the younger generation and worried. When I was a kid, rock ‘n’ roll was seen as the scourge that would lead to the decline of young people. When I was a teen, it was the way we wore our hair and our style of dress. When I was a young adult, it was the sexual liberation of contraceptives.
Now that I find myself part of that older generation, I, too, worry about the younger generation coming along. Children born during the last 20 years have grown up with technology as the biggest part of their lives. They have little to no memory of a world without the Internet, cellphones and cable television. Those young people have had so much exposure to information, you would think they’d be a generation of highly educated and knowledgeable individuals walking among us. Sadly – in spite of all that technology has put at those young people’s fingertips – what some of them have subscribed to is the worst as opposed to the best of behaviors.
One of the sickest legacies today’s society has created in our young people is their propensity to “record” their negative behaviors. The most notorious example was the beating death of Derrion Albert. The individual who recorded it could be heard shouting “damn” as the boy was hit over his head with a board. Yet at no point did the person recording the video stop to call the police or an ambulance. I saw the exact same thing a while back when I sadly experienced my first viewing of a shooting victim. The girl who ran down the street next to me not once thought to call the police as she was too busy giving a play-by-play description to whomever she was on the phone with.
Recently we are seeing a surge in attacks on older people by younger ones as either part of a game or to take their money. The recent attack on a WWII veteran by a group of imbeciles further highlights the problem. Those thugs have had exposure to all that life has to offer, and they choose to become common lowlife criminals. It is also the savagery of the crime. Three individuals attacked an 87-year-old WWII vet, beating him so severely that he blacked out and they broke his dentures – all so that they could steal money from him.
In bygone years, when elders such as myself expressed worry about the antics of the younger generation, the younger ones would pooh-pooh the concerns. But the same cannot be said today. Every one of us has to wonder what this society will be like in another 20 years if those right now are so out-of-control and display such violent and negative behavior.
I have advocated in the past, and will continue to, that the parents and individuals who shelter these criminals must also share in the responsibility for their behavior. What always kept me in line when I was young was the knowledge that my mother’s justice would be harsher and swifter than anything this society could place on me. Our young criminals need the same sort of worry. If their actions bring them and their families to the attention of the police, IRS, social welfare agencies, DCFS and their parents’ employers, then that is the kind of attention responsible parents need to ensure that their children never bring it upon them.
Responsible parents know that their unemployed children cannot bring anything into their households unless they, the parents, purchased it. They also know that unemployed children just don’t have money unless they, the parents, gave it to them. But as long as the parents don’t have to be bothered, that is the mindset they will remain in. It is up to us and this society to hold these parents accountable for the progeny they raised and the behavior their offspring display.