The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Z_CNHI News Service

October 8, 2013

Here's what I've learned about the next generation

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. ... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly (disrespectful) and impatient of restraint.”

That little tantrum came from the 8th century B.C. poet, Hesiod, who while perhaps more eloquent than today’s “Hey, you kids, get off my lawn!” senior citizens, despaired for the future of his country.

Somehow, despite Hesiod’s misgivings, Greece survived for another 200 years before the philosopher Socrates — according to his pupil Plato, weighed in about the juvenile delinquents of his day.

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders; … they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

As it turned out, the authorities felt that old Socrates was more a threat to the youngsters than vice versa. He was tried and convicted on — among other accusations — a charge of corrupting the morals of Athenian youth. When offered a cup of hemlock, he willingly drank it, possibly believing that death was preferable to having to put up any longer with all those rotten kids.

Folks hear a lot nowadays about how clueless today’s young people seem to be. I know this to be true because a lot of what those within earshot are hearing comes from me.

Society has dubbed those born between about 1980 and 2000 as “Generation Y” or “Millennials.”

It’s beyond foolish, of course, to categorize Millennials or any other age group as one monolithic entity, all with the same characteristics without exception for individuality. But somehow that realization hasn’t stopped me from every now and again making portentous, unflattering pronouncements about all these people who will outlive me. Among those sentiments are these:

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Comment
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide