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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Problem With Kids Today

Thursday night. A woman is paying for a fountain drink. I have seen her a half dozen times or so before. Usually in the morning as my shift is ending. She is a known grumpus and trouble maker. She has called Corporate numerous times over some perceived injustice or other. She grumps to me almost immediately. "Do you know there are kids out front smoking?" They weren't there when I came in. I'm not sure who it is, but I'm fairly certain the world is safe. All I can muster for her is a slight shrug of my shoulders and a distinctly uncaring "So." Though not the ultimate in customer service; it fits the occasion. She turns and leaves, not exactly in a huff though I am suddenly sure I am next on her hit list to Corporate.

I don't really care.

For the next three and a half hours I have four young adults sitting on the sidewalk next to the store doing nothing more than enjoying a pretty nice Summer night. Smokin' cigarettes. (For the record I have seen all of them quite often over my time here and they are old enough to purchase cigarettes.) Talking about life. Keeping me company.

Almost every person who came in the store had something to say about these young adults hanging out. My answers always ran along the same lines; at least they're not out -insert unspeakable act here -. Or, at least they're safe here. Once reassured in this way the big brave adults knew everything would be ok.

So now we come to the crux of the problem. What IS the problem with kids today? As far as I can tell, nothing really. Are some of them spoiled? You bet. Do some of them express their rebellion in really pretty harmless ways? Uh-huh. And they are pretty harmless ways even if the over 40 gang can't quite grasp it. Hasn't it always been thus?

If there IS some problem with young people today, whose fault is it? Who was responsible for raising them? Did they raise themselves? Did they have a meeting one day after gym class to vote on a change in the young adult by-laws? That seems a bit far fetched.

When I think back on my childhood and how I felt my parents were so uninvolved in so many parts of my life; it really seems so many more parents try to be more to their kids. Trying to be more involved and more than just authority figures.

Why do so many adults distrust younger generations? There are many many level headed adults that know being young is just part of getting old. There are just as many who don't quite get it. So I guess the question I'll be pondering for a while is what's the problem with adults today?

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