I have spent a decade working with America’s youth, and in that time I have worked with well over a thousand kids. I know it’s typical for adolescents to feel misunderstood and undervalued, and I’m not here to make excuses for their behavior. As an adult, I see a lot of criticism directed at today’s youth, but I’m not here at the moment to agree or necessarily disagree with the criticism directed at them.
We are a society living in fear of our future. Recent conversations with high school and college students have shown me over and over again, they are afraid of what hope the future holds for them. As a parent, I’m afraid of what the future holds for them. Is it because of them and their attitudes and values though? I feel that some see it this way, but I'm here to point the finger at someone else.
You know why I’m scared? Why they’re scared? Because what they see, what I see, what way too many of us see, is a country that is more about money and personal gains than any actual real values. We want to criticize the values of today’s youth! Really? Where do you think they’re getting their examples from?
We have corporations like Macy’s that’s opening their stores on Thanksgiving and forcing their employers to work all for that corporate money gain instead of celebrating a day that is meant for what is suppose to be one of America’s most important values, family. We have a government that is sulking and pouting like spoiled little children because they can’t get their way. Government isn’t about the good of the people anymore; it’s about individual gain and victories. It’s about personal egos, not values like doing the right thing, helping others, or working for the greater good. Our leaders in corporate, political America are acting like spoiled, selfish little children that don’t value anything but their own gain. You want to call today’s youth entitled? Our leaders are stripping us of our values with their poor examples.
Change in how we want to be perceived as Americans starts at the top. I for one am completely embarrassed of our leaders, whether they’re the corporate or political ones. They should be ashamed of themselves. I doubt none of them would think to look at what they’re doing wrong; they would much rather point the finger at someone else. There are people working that are going to have to put off mortgage payments, auto loan payments, skip a planned trip or family event because their paycheck is postponed because of a government that can’t get their shit together because they’re too busy blaming the other side.
Our leaders’ examples of values absolutely sucks so what do you expect from today’s youth? They are lost. My students write every year on the necessity of why we need government in society. Maybe this year I’ll have them write about how poor leadership can destroy; how strong leadership is a necessity to improve, grow, and succeed.
They want to drill today’s youth with testing, testing, testing on the academics. I think this shows right here that there’s values in teaching the skills of teamwork, compromise, leadership because obviously our leaders must have been the first bubble filling generation who was so busy spitting out facts to show how they were so much better than everyone else that they forgot to learn the actual valuable lessons that would actually help them be the leaders this country needs.