As a 17 year old I belong to the next generation; a generation that will provide political leaders, important figure heads, judges, lawyers, business men and women, medical professionals and much more. We are the future. Am I proud to be a part of this generation? Definitely. The potential of this young group is incredible! The things that can be accomplished are countless. But am I proud of this generation? That’s a different story. Growing up I’ve always been told that I have an “old soul” meaning, my maturity surpasses my age on every level. Possibly it’s from all the time I spent with adults growing up, or maybe I was just given a gift of inquisition that allowed me to further explore topics far beyond my realm of understanding. Either way, I have always found myself to be a little more worldly, if you will, than those I frequent time with in school. This isn’t necessarily good or bad, it’s just kind of… there. So, when asked today if I was proud of my generation I had to think for more than a moment. I was certainly proud of different aspects and endeavours practiced and pursued by my peers but the generation as a whole, if I may briefly categorize, I was not too sure.
Do not misinterpret the point being made, but the children of today have been raised, or rather have inherited a sense of entitlement. From where? God only knows, but it is visible and clear. Children are growing up with the false belief that the world owes them something, that they are entitled to certain aspects of life such as food, water, shelter, the newest trends and latest “must-haves.” This misconception has driven tomorrow’s leaders into a fit (at times this may be taken literally). Now, if I may speak to my generation here the world does not owe you anything! But to it you owe your life. If that hasn’t explained itself yet, allow me to do so. You we’re put on this earth, not to receive, but to give and to work and to repay the world for all it does for you. It does not owe you a thing! No one does! You can not simply come into this world and expect to be given things, to have things done for you. You have to fight for what you want, you have to make it mean something.
Being raised in a First World Country it is easy to become too comfortable and begin to take certain things for granted. But it is time people begin to understand the difference between rights and privileges. This generation believes they have a right to clean water and shelter, to healthcare (if you’re Canadian, sorry Americans), to the bare necessities of life, however; this is false. These are privileges. These are blessings. It is not your right to have running water and active plumbing, it is your blessing. It is not your right to have food in your fridge and a free education, it is your blessing. I feel as if, in the easy going, layers back, “no right way of parenting” society, we have lost site of the key principals in raising a socially aware child. A working understanding of the world and it’s cruelty is actually, believe it or not, beneficial to a young mind. It teaches them to value what they have and work for what they want; that life will not the handed to them on a silver platter with newly polished silverware. There is work that had to be done in order for one to attain their goals, there dreams.
You owe it to those who have gone before you and forged the way to “pick up your bootstraps” (for lack of a better term) and work for them. You must work in order to pay back the world and all of those who lived in it, worked on it and slaved away to create the life you now live. You must battle your way through the tough times in order to come out the other side proud, strong and knowledgable. So please, do not make the mistake and believe that you are superior, that you are greater than those who came before you. Do not turn your nose up to a little bit of hard work. In the end it is far more rewarding than anything that is simply handed to you.
Work hard and think of those who fought for you and for all the things you have been blessed with before you demand and expect certain things in life. Realize your luck and all the incredible gifts you have been given as a young person. We are the leaders of tomorrow, might as well start acting like it.
I would love to sit here and say that I am so proud of all the amazing things my generation had accomplished, but this I cannot do, at least not now. Yes, there are amazing young leaders amongst us but the disappointing truth is they seem to be few and far between. So why not stand apart from the Entitlement Generation and do your part for this world? Be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished and see how far we can go.
Are you ready and willing to change the world? I sure do hope so!
Have a fantastic night!