I’m a little worried about our future generation, and it’s not so much that they’re lazy or smoke too much dope or listen to bad music. We did all that back in the day and still managed to crush the Soviets and invent the internet.
No, I’m worried because our kids our downright wimpy compared to the youth of my day. It’s all about safety, they say. No more playing outside–they may get kidnapped and held in underground dungeons for a decade or two. We’ve all seen it happen on the news. Our kids have to stay right on the couch, watching hours of television. No books. Johnny thinks those are boring. And his hands don’t have a single scrape, cut or callous upon their nubile surface. Mom need not worry about scun knees unless it’s from a rug burn that Johnny got as he raced to the ringing microwave for his next frozen meal.
Back in the day, we missed meals because we didn’t want to come inside.
How about chores? I had to stack wood, mow the lawn, weed the garden. I don’t think any of that happens now. The result? A lot of unappreciative kids.
The young people I see in the Army look downright fragile. I expect smoke to rise from their skin when sunlight touches it. I mean, I was arm wrestling and getting in fights with high school students when I was 12. My friends and I didn’t Twitter, we threw rocks at each other for fun. Oh yeah, and razor-sharp, freshwater clams, too. Excellent for taking out eyes and leaving impressive scars. Bikes, ridden as if they were part of a spoke-and-sprocket destruction derby. We made ramps, seeing how much air we could grab. We racked our nuts on goosenecks and ripped skin off our bodies. But our current generation can’t even climb on a bike without a helmet.
Something bad might happen. Little Johnny can barely go outside without being spray-painted in Nerf.
I’m assuming that Boy Scout enrollment is down from my days, too. Wouldn’t want to toughen a young boy up with a 12 hour mountain hike, sleeping in a tent in the rain, or large scale stick fights. Hate to have him act like a boy. Hate to have him not be around Mom for more than 15 minutes.
Something bad might happen.
No backyard wrestling. Just Facebook. No walking or biking to a friend’s house. Mom will give you a ride. No more playing outdoors. The kids may get caught in the rain.
When I was 12 I was carrying a rifle around in the woods, by myself. Can you imagine if someone saw a 12 year old with a rifle, alone nowadays? FBI SWAT teams would be air-assaulted into the area for a three day standoff, with CNN there to give us a minute by minute account on what was sure to be another Columbine. And guess what I did with that rifle. I shot squirrels. Cute, defenseless critters, who made it their mission to steal the material from between the logs of our camp, making fall nights in Maine a little more chilly. So I hunted tree rat. Damn, I was a good shot.
Todays kids are a bunch of wimps. If we want to help them out, I think we ought to make their lives a little more austere. We’re creating a generation of scared old women.
Yes, Johnny needs more rocks thrown at him by his buddies, he needs to walk more, run more get hungry and get beat up. Otherwise I fear we’ll find him baking muffins and knitting sweaters.