Every generation assumes that they had it tougher than the one that followed. Many will lament about the struggle and the challenges which the youth of today know nothing about. “You know nothing about hard work” they say.
“Young people today are spoilt” they say.
“Back in my day, we didn’t have ipads” Tsk, tsk, tsk.
From my own experience, we were reminded endlessly of how our elders walked for days and survived on little to make ends meet. Of having only one exercise book, and a pencil. How lucky are you now. You don’t know struggle. They retort.
In recent months, this sense of disappointment has appeared more frequently on social media, in memes, and photo comparisons. While I have laughed at some, it left me pondering:
“What are you hoping to achieve?”
The same group who are disappointed with youth, are the current leaders and influencers who so desperately need the involvement of youth in their work. And nothing isolates youth faster than this blaming ‘You know nothing’ mentality.
I do agree, that some of our young people today are straying and disappointing, much like we were to those before us. But perhaps we all need to stop blaming and comparing and accept these facts:
- That, that was then and this is now. Live in the Now. (And influence tomorrow’s leaders)
- What can you do differently, that will help make a difference for youth today?
- There are many complexities that exist today, compared to the previous era.
- Social media exists today – something what has added challenges for young people.
My message for those who are disappointed with youth today is – take the time to know them, in your community and learn more about their worlds. By doing so, you will come to realise their position/perspective and how you, in all your years of wisdom can help.
More importantly, if more of our community have an understanding of youth today, that’s more people who will empathise, understand, and be champions for youth today:
Here’s an example of a young person today who is amazing: