A view from the other side
| Little Cub
The youth of today, they say, are privileged whiners. Deemed as unappreciative keepers of the world they have been handed the pressure placed on their shoulders is an immense burden. The term, "back in our day," accomplishes nothing but pitting one generation against another.
The mama bear comes out but once a year. As the cub grows the need becomes less frequent because they have been taught along the way to find their own voice. They learn and grow forming their own ideas, goals, and dreams. They become influenced by others, but the core of the person they are, remains untainted. The cub learns to roar with a strong voice. The mama bear is proud even though the voice may not echo the same tone or sentiment as she, but there is strength in the cub's spirit. The cub is learning to maneuver in the world and finding direction on her own terms. Through unchartered territory, the cub must navigate unfriendly regions.
I am from an era in which pride, in self and country, was a given. We were rule followers and door openers. Opportunity was expected. Faith, school, and family were the centers in which we revolved. As a young adult, it was a requirement that we found a part-time job. We learned to pay our debts and build our homes. It is a picturesque history that I remember.
As a child, I was home from school by three and safely playing baseball in the field with a hundred other kids. Homework consisted of one math sheet and memorization of spelling words. Working twelve hours a week, my part-time job, supplied my basic desires. There were the social pressures of drug and drink to be avoided. Our music was touted as evil by the parental generation. Bombs of destruction were an everyday worry.
On deaf ears, falls the explanation of our glory days, but so often too, does the cry of our youth in definition of the maze they travel. The pressure to succeed in school, extracurricular activities, community, and job performance weigh heavy. Forced to grow up quickly, they are taught to be wary of strangers and fight off the pedophile. They are catapulted into safe rooms, fearful of masked intruders. Threats encountered daily on campus' across America lean favorably in protection of the aggressors' rights. While earning an education, the cub must be aware to the dangers that surround. Cowering behind locked doors and looking constantly over their shoulders is the legacy our generation has left behind.
Until we can successfully put away the inert need for competition between the generations, society will continue to live in fear. Our youth are calling us to stand up and be counted. Gun control is not an effort to sabotage a way of life. Mental health legislation is not a futile attempt to garner our tax dollars. Times have changed and the battle lines drawn. A coming together, with the best of all generations proffered, is the only solution.
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