"Hell is other people"

Kids Today…

Whatever is “wrong with kids today” is the fault of the drug-riddled adults in their lives. Helicopter parents, trophies for everybody, and anxious adults unsure of their heritage have plagued our young souls with a panoply of anxieties and maladies, while simultaneously reassuring them that whatever they think, say or do is all OK. No judgement here!

Lionel Shriver begins his excellent essay, How we created a self-hating generation, with an obvious statement that has fallen out of favor:

I submit: the traditional concept of “building character” is out the window.

Once upon a time, a fully realised person was something one became. Entailing education, observation, experimentation, and sometimes humiliation, “coming of age” was hard work. When the project succeeded, we developed a gradually richer understanding of what it means to be human and what constitutes a fruitful life. 

We are all a ‘work in progress.’ Children, adolescents and people in their early 20’s even more so. But how can a child grow if never constructively challenged? Humorist Michael Sedaris sarcastically quipped that children behave badly because they have no natural predators.

“I am a triple threat: I’m depressed, anxious, and gay.”

How does an adult respond to such a statement from a child? Pat on the back affirmation? A responsible adult would encourage young people along their path of discovery and becoming, teaching them that we can continually learn, evolve, and grow:

The idea that your psyche is set from birth is intrinsically deterministic and therefore grim. The vision it conjures is fatalistic and mechanical: all these traits are hardwired, and life involves winding up the clockwork toy and watching it totter across the floor until it runs into the wainscotting. If a newly emerged self already exists in its entirety, there’s nothing to do. 

I could continue quoting this essay all day, but I’ll end with this one:

Minors don’t know anything, which is not their fault. We didn’t know anything at their age, either (and may not still), though we thought we did — and being disabused of callow, hastily conceived views and coming to appreciate the extent of our ignorance is a prerequisite for proper education. 

Please read the short essay and tell us, what say you?


Lionel Shriver: How we created a self-hating generation

Bari Weiss Podcast – Michael Sedaris

24% of Americans taking prescription mental health medication

Google Search: US psychiatric drug use

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