I'm having a hard time figuring out when I became my mom and dad all rolled up into one person.
If you can't comprehend what I am referring to, it is something you may never experience, especially if you don't have children or grandchildren. However, there could possibly be times when you might experience it in everyday life and in the business world when dealing with others.
I don't know when it came about, but it seems the "me or now generation" is alive and is everywhere.
It is evident many of the younger generation, those not baby boomers (A baby boomer is a person who was born during the demographic post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964) have misplaced their priorities and values.
Those individuals, many of them now parents themselves, allow their children to do things that my parents would not have tolerated and that I would have received a good thrashing for if I did it. No, I am not attempting to say my parents were physically abusive, but if I deserved it, I occasionally got swatted a few times with a belt across my butt. It wasn't hard enough to inflict a lot of pain, but was enough to get my attention. And in my parents' defense, I NOW KNOW I DESERVED IT. I'll guarantee you I wasn't the most perfect child and had my moments when I caused my parents some grief, but I always gave respect to my elders as my parents taught me.
First off, I would never have attempted to lie to my parents. I knew they always had some uncanny way of knowing the truth. It was almost like they had surveillance equipment and spies placed everywhere. Darn, I wonder if my parents were part of some clandestine CIA organization when I was growing up in El Cajon, Calif. That could possibly be the reason I never seemed to get away with something I might have done.
I can guarantee you my parents wouldn't have allowed me do something just because they knew I would do it anyway. Back when I was growing up and residing under my parents' roof, I knew my parents wouldn't allow me to bring home a girl to spend the night in my bedroom. The thought of them condoning me having sex with a girl just because they thought I would sneak out my bedroom window for a lovemaking rendezvous in the orange grove adjacent to our property never entered my mind.
Today, there are some parents who allow their young teenage children, some as young as 13 or 14, to have sex with their friends. And to top it off, they allegedly provide birth control pills and condoms to their children, and allow them to have sexual relations right in their homes. I can just hear the parents' reasoning: "Oh, they are going to do it anyway and we'd rather provide birth control measures to ensure they don't get pregnant." Can we all say birth control measures are not 100 percent, sexually transmitted diseases lurk around every corner and a lack of moral turpitude is running rampant in today's society?
I consider my life while growing up as pretty good. We had a roof over our heads (my parent's first house was purchased in 1947 for $768 dollars and was the same year I was born). Granted, back then, life was pretty tough at times for most people. It had only been a couple of years since my father had returned from military service during World War II and salaries were not that great. I can remember us eating lima beans and cornbread a couple of times a week, and that my mom and dad raised chickens in the back yard in order to provide food for the table. I'm not complaining; we had three meals every day, and the evening meal was always a hot meal. I guess that was better than some people had. My brother and I never thought of asking our parents to take us out to dinner just about every night or buying us non-essential things just because we wanted them.
I want to say things were not just given to me on a "silver platter." I had to accomplish certain things, such as chores or get good grades in school, in order for my parents to buy me non-essential items.
Many of today's children don't even know what chores are and assume computers, cell phones, video games and etc. are necessities of life. And for whatever reason (maybe that is how they were raised), they assume everything should be given to them without them earning it. Ok, computers and cell phones had not been invented when I was growing up, but there were other non-essential items I would have loved to have.
Many children today believe it is almost a rite of passage for their parents to purchase a car for them when they are old enough to drive. There wasn't bus service for me when I was going to junior high school. I had to walk about three and a half miles (in the snow and both ways uphill) to school each day. I remember when I considered it an ultimate reward for me when my parents gave me a bicycle so I could peddle myself to and from school. And my high school, that was about five miles away, was the same; there was no bus service. I had to either hitch a ride with a neighbor's parent or a friend who was lucky enough to have a car or I peddled my trusty bike to school. I remember one of my neighbor friend's father was a hearse salesman, and often we were driven to school in a vehicle that was designed to carry dead people, but it was much better than walking.
Respect and consideration for others seems to have flown out the window too. I remember the days when you walked up to a door; you always held it open for others, especially women and people older than you, to pass through. Kids, and I use that word loosely, can't comprehend the concept of respect. If they walk up to a door, they immediately wait for an adult to walk up and open the door for them instead of the other way around.
I would never think of walking into someone's home and asking for something, much less opening a cupboard or refrigerator to see what was in it. If I did that and my parents saw it, you bet I probably would have drawn back a bloody stub. Ok, just joking about the bloody stub, but my parents would have verbally reprimanded me for not respecting others' property. I can't ever think of a reason for someone to go through someone else's property or take something out of the refrigerator without permission.
When you visit with friends and family, you should spend time face-to-face talking to them. Now the kids of today feel it is socially acceptable to text from one end of the table to the other instead of just actually talking with each other. I also understand a 10-year-old can be kept entertained with a game, but I consider it uncouth for a 40-year-old who cannot put down their electronic device for the fear of missing an "Angry Bird."
To top it off, many young adults are remiss in offering to help clear the table and clean up dishes after they are provided a nice meal. I guess they thought they were in a restaurant; however, I didn't see a tip on the table. Oh, and by the way, they always seem to forget to say thank you for the meal.
That's right, younger people seem to have forgotten the words "thank you," "sir" and "ma'am." Saying sir and ma'am was the norm for me when I was growing up. If I forgot to say it, my parents quickly reminded me that I should be respectful to others. However, in today's society, a little respect toward people older than you and I has seemed to have fallen to the wayside. Is it the kids' fault or is it the fault of the parents for not teaching their children some manners and respect? I'm not putting anyone down who doesn't teach their kids to say thank you, sir or ma'am, but I find it unsettling many parents no longer want to instill this virtue in their children.
Another thing that bothers me is kids or young adults rely on their parents to raise their children. Look around and you'll see numerous grandparents raising their grandchildren. I know of a bunch of grandparents that are doing just that. What has this world come to? Kids can choose to fool around and have children, but when it comes to providing for and raising their children, they shuck their responsibilities of their kids off to their moms and dads.
I guess my wife and I would take our grandchildren under our wings and raise them if it came right down to it. But they would not like the rules "under my roof."
We could visit the subject of borrowing. I was always taught that if I borrowed something, I should return it in a timely manner and the same or better condition that when I received it. Oh, that could be another future blog.
I'm not saying everybody, but it is my opinion many of the younger parents of today didn't pay attention to their parents when they were attempting to teach them "Respect 101" classes. I personally believe some young adults have forgotten the infamous words of Emily Post in regard to responsibilities, priorities, manners, ethics and moral turpitude.