Smoke in the Wind


It is a curious observation about North American youth and young adults- a generation raised on media promises of abundance and perfection. The level of expectation has shot through the roof. There are graduation ceremonies for kindergarteners, limosine-chauffered parties for high school graduates (and sometimes weekend cruises!!), and any number of high-ticket ($$) activities that MUST be enrolled in at other’s expense (God forbid that they should do without..). This generation is the most indulged, and book learned, but as my mother once said, they are “people stupid” (or perhaps ‘challenged in the area of life skills’). I have a couple of friends with adult children living at home. Not only are these ‘children’ functionally impaired with respect to the basics of cooking and setting up a household, but they have no plans for becoming competent in the near future. Why should they? Their parents will clean up and cook for them, and if desired, will give them money on demand, as well as allowing them to live at home rent-free. These unfortunate adult-wanna-bes are only playing at being grown-up. It is interesting to listen to their conversations. Everything has to be perfect in the little paradise that represents their future. Unfortunately- we live in a very imperfect world, and it is our responsibility (and privilege) to WORK for its repair and healing (rather than expect it to be dropped from heaven..or elsewhere..on some silver platter).
Take marriage for instance. Most longstanding relationships have WORKED to build a loving and solid home. Happiness doesn’t just happen- it doesn’t get handed down automatically after saying “I do”, and picture-perfect weddings are just that- pictures. Just as a new piece of furniture becomes worn with living, so relationships will sustain their share of nicks, threadbare states, and off color days. If a relationship has to be perfect, it will never be human, or beautiful. “Perfection” may be superficially achieved- but it is usually at the price of control (a dominant/submissive rule of engagement). Part of the process of growing together in love involves BOTH partners working for common goals, and sacrificing for the sake of the ‘other’ beloved. However, many young adults want TODAY, both materially and emotionally, what their parents and grandparents achieved only after having stayed the course of their life commitment. Greg and I started out as poor as church mice- and I bless God for that. We have had the joy (and still have the joy) of dreaming, planning, and working together for what is modestly ours today. That includes the bumps, tragedies, disappointments, and woundings that have been an unplanned part of the warp and weave of love’s tapestry. Anything worthwhile takes time to build up- in the material and spiritual realm. I fear for the generation that assumes that life can be downloaded as easily as soundbytes onto an mp3. There is a place for parents to say “NO”. We work hard in the school of life- a place where there is no ‘free lunch’. The reward of such work is character. It would be wrong to deprive our children of the opportunity to develop the same soul-sculpting work ethic- for without it, our next generation may very well self immolate on the altar of indolent self-gratification. A little hardship is good for the soul- enough ‘bubble-packing’. Thus endeth the rant.

One comment

  1. Paige · March 21, 2007

    I totally agree with you. We can’t figure out the rationale behind ‘rescuing’ a 28 year old soon to be married daugher out of credit card debt numerous times. Lesson- mom and dad will always rescue me. Plus, in the meantime mom and dad complain about having to do it. Just does not make sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s