"In the cover story in the latest issue of Toronto Life, Katrina Onstad writes about the boundless enthusiasm the younger generation is showing in the face of an economic meltdown. Her over-educated, under-employed interview subjects are so relentlessly positive about the future that Onstad at one point blurts, "What if it's not okay? What if it's breadlines for everyone? What if it's Grapes of Wrath?" To which her 25-year-old subject responds with a puzzled, "I just don't go there. I just don't think that way.""McLaren continues:
"As someone just a few years older [in her mid-thirties], I do. The rest of my generation may not know it yet, but we have been robbed. Our famous self-esteem and sense of entitlement - instilled in us by over-indulgent boomer parents - can only shield us from the truth for so long: The demographers were wrong. We are in for a very rough ride. Much rougher than our parents."Remember that Gary Thomas quote we had at the top of the blog for awhile? "The physical and social luxuries of our world also make it more difficult for us to face the hard internal issues because we don't have to....How do we talk about the cross to a generation that finds unfluffed pillows intolerable?"--Gary Thomas, Seeking the Face of God Are the current crop of ever-more-coddled children even less prepared than the twenty-somethings to face a world without unfluffed pillows or handheld things that go beep?
I know many families who are determined that their offspring will not be that helpless or that picky, and who seem to be fairly successful in their attempts not to raise hothouse flowers...but I sometimes wonder if there's some key piece of the code that's not getting transmitted, at least in this end of the woods. I had a recent conversation with someone who explained to me in detail why eating oatmeal was just not within her current parameters. And it's not the oatmeal that matters, it's the principle of the thing. [But this same person has showed me many times how smart and thrifty she can be in other ways, so we'll let the oatmeal issue pass.]
Nate Saint's mother used to let her children climb on the roof of their house and, apparently, didn't seem to worry even when they jumped off of or onto very high things. Neighbours criticized her. Probably these days one of them would have called the authorities. However, she ignored them. Had she ordered the children down or told them it was too dangerous or otherwise coddled them, Nate Saint would probably not have become a missionary pilot.
So? What's your take? How bad do you think things can get? Do children need to be prepared for something that might never happen?
And...do you think that age bracket has something to do with one's ability to prepare for hard times, or one's willingness to stick one's head in the sandbox?