The Gimme Gimme Syndrome
We hear a lot these days about the younger generation, those so called “millennials” and even younger and how our kids have developed a sense of entitlement, so much so that the future of our country seems in perilous straits because of this one generation.
I do not believe that to be the truth at all, in fact, if we look around, the world is going to Hell in a handbasket pretty much because of all of us. While I tend to believe us older folks are a little more grounded, and quite a bit more responsible, I still remember the days of my late teens and early 20’s when I was of just about as much use to the world in general as a pet rock.
It does seem to me though that the younger generation of today, even down to middle school aged kids, have an increased sense of the “gimme gimme” syndrome and an aura about them that seems to send the message that they don’t think they should be punished for anything and that their actions should carry no consequences.
Back when I was a lad, if I had told anyone “cash me outside, how bout dat” I would have found myself on the end of a principal’s paddle, followed by a butt whoopin’ at home, followed up by the even worse woeful stare from my grandma.
Now, the teen girl who made that statement on television finds herself with a lucrative television gig of her own and will make fistfuls of dollars instead of watch she really needs.
That is a sad truth from our world today.
Even sadder to me is where this ultimately leaves these young people. Kids who grow up with no boundaries, no discipline, and no consequences for bad behavior will not have the tools to cope with the mean world of adulthood. Say what you like, believe what you like, the person I am today can be contributed in large part to the instruction, discipline and plain ol’ fashioned butt whoopins that my backside received when I was still living at home with the folks.
Sure my course strayed for a while, most folks get off course when they are trying to find their way. But like the Book says, I found my way back. The wisdom of Proverbs 22:6 is one that all parents should cling to like a dryer sheet on a pair of slacks.
It holds true. My own kids, now grown, are proving the wisdom of that verse to me more and more every day. My most liberal child (don’t get me started) is the most shining example of the truth to the verse, as she blesses me every day with her generous spirit, her work with the homeless and just the completely and totally obvious change that radiates from her face. That statement is in no way influenced by the fact that she came home and prepared a week’s worth of meals for us when her mom got out of the hospital recently.
All of our other children show me every day that they have something and someone inside of them that make them constantly striving to be good people, beneficial to the world they live in.
And, you know what, each one of them got their butts whooped when they were little. They didn’t die, they weren’t traumatized or scarred for life. They learned from it and grew from it and became better human beings by realizing there were consequences in life.
I should not even have to clarify that there is a difference between loving correction and abuse. Only an idiot can’t see the difference. There is always a right way and a wrong way. Abuse is never right.
Correction for the purpose of guidance and education, is never wrong. We need more of this kind of correction in our world today. And correction shouldn't be arbitrary. The captain of the football team and the head cheerleader should face the same punishments as the head of the chess club or the kid that is in no extra curricular at all.
Entitlement is a big word, and one that I think is unfairly applied to the millennials of today. There may be a trend in that direction, but let’s not over categorize. Just like any age group, there are good and bad.
But, there is a responsibility to teach the younger generations about right and wrong, consequences, the benefit of working for what you want, and the evil that is out there. It is the responsibility of teachers, parents, churches, school officials, community leaders, etc, etc, etc.
In short, it is all of our responsibility, and we all get the blame if we turn our heads and look the other way. But hey, don’t take my word for it.
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”