Lessons Learned

Yesterday I was listening to a discussion on the radio (WTKK 96.9) about Generation Me, the group of young adults just starting to graduate from colleges and move into the real world.  The discussion took several interesting turns and in doing so it brought up two interesting points.

Point 1 - Studies are showing that the Generation Me group are entering into the world with a sense of entitlement.  They get out of college and are showing up to interviews expecting six figures right off the bat or expect the top level management positions without having to work their way into them.

Point 2 - The baby boomer generation "broke" our country.  For the first time in the history of this country this is no longer a guarantee that our children will have it better off then we do.

In this discussion they raised several explanations of what they think is the cuase of the two above points.  One that I think best explains point 2 is that we have it too good.  Since WWII we as a country have never had it so well.  In the 20s we were hit with the great depression leaving our grandparents or parents (depending on your age) struggling.  They worked hard to over come and came out better for it.  Then came World War II, again Americans had to sacrifice.  Companies put aside their normal work loads to help make supplies.  People did without.  America came out better.  After World War II life became easy.  We never had to give up anything.  We became comfortable and many of us grew up never knowing what sacrifices really was. 

Then came credit cards making it easier to get what you want now without having to work for it.  Instant gratification.

Add to this the liberal mentality we've implanted into our youth from everything from education to sports.  Competition is looked at as a bad thing.  Every kid who competes gets a trophy because we don't want hurt feelings.  Sports programs for younger kids no longer keep score because it isn't about winning or losing, its just about having fun.  Schools are doing away with letter grades because they don't want to hurt little Jimmy's feelings if he gets a bad grade.

As a result we get what we see today, a generation who feels they can get anything they want today and not have to work for it and do not understand that things don't always come easy.

Protecting little Jimmy from the harsh reality of life is what's hurting this country.

Sometimes failing is just what people need to do better.   When I was a kid playing little league I will never forget my first year playing.  I had a coach that put me on the bench more then any other player on the team because I stunk.  I had one hit all year.  I struck out time and time again and it felt bad walking back to my teams bench.  My friends and teammates would give me a hard time because I'd sometimes be the 3rd out of the inning.  My solution was to work harder.  My dad got me a ball on a string that I'd hit and it would return back allowing me to try to hit it again.  I hit that ball all day long for the rest of the summer and come spring I was right back out there again.  I went from the worst hitter to the 2nd best hitter on my team (this was back when they kept batting averages for the kids starting off in little league).  We had one kid pitching who actually was so good he only gave up hits to just four players all year, I was one of them (He went on to play professional ball).

If I was just allowed to go to first base or if I was given as many pitches as needed to get a hit instead of 3 strikes and I'm out I doubt I would have worked as hard as I did to improve and in doing so it taught me something.  It taught me that if you want something you need to work for it.  I don't see that lesson being taught to the younger generation.

Even now while our economy is going into the toilet and government debt is at an all time high we continue expecting the government to give give give.  If we can't get what we want our government gives it to us.  Our government is broke though.  Sooner or later that reality will catch up to us as a nation and when it does and we finally wake up we will need to start making some really hard choices.