At work most of the people I am surrounded by are near the tail end of their military career. Many of them share frustrations about how the kids that are coming into the military today are lazy, unfit, too interested in their cell phone, and so on. The sentiment for many extends beyond the new military recruits to young people in general.
The cycle continues. The next generation of people are bound and determined to ruin everything. From the words of Horace in the Book III of Odes to the dialogue today in social media; we are doomed.
From where I sit, I don’t think it’s so bad. Actually I think that some of the ideas that are developing within the younger generation are quite revolutionary and scary for people who admire the status quo.
Ideas like the ones shared by Pico Iyer about people having trouble identifying with just one country or nation and instead feeling like a citizen of the earth. That is quite problematic for people who rely on borders to keep people in and keep people out.
Another hopeful sign for me was the number of kids who came to see Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson at PPAC a few weeks ago. These kids wanted to see an astrophysicist talk about how Pluto is not a planet and how much of the universe we don’t understand. In that audience there may be a kid who was so inspired Dr. Tyson that he or she left with a dream to go to college and study dark matter (a phrase that makes me think about Harry Potter and the study of the dark arts).
So the story goes. With every generation that gets old, discounting new ideas and ways of behaving is a clear sign of becoming an irrelevant, old fogie. As for me, I’m not ready to be lumped into that group. Instead I’m excited and curious to see where these new ideas and technologies take us. I just hope that the irrelevant, old fogies in leadership positions don’t screw it up for the next generation.