If it’s true for me then for others it may be so that sporadic memories enter the mind especially in these uncertain times. In our youth people spent most of their time buried in academia and regulations in the public school systems so odds are you’ll flashback inane locker talk, embarrassing gossip, or fist fights. I remember distinctly at Hackett Middle School I had tech/wood shop as the last period of the day. I don’t remember much of anything I learned there except for using a jigsaw blade. But the teacher Mr. Laiacona was teaching some sort of historical lesson and endowed upon us a virtue…
“It’s common knowledge that newer generations have an easier life than the generations before them.”
I suppose this virtue could have been relevant at one point if one reviews the level of suffering and standard of living that has changed over course of human society. Seeing all the unemployment, low job prospects, low wages, high living costs, increase in technology purchases, high tuition, and a planet that seems to be crumbling for the unknown…it doesn’t seem like things are easier just better. And this is information coming from a man who was part of post-WWII American generation that had the cheapest standard of living in the from the 1950’s to 70’s. College was a couple of hundred dollars a semester and you were practically guaranteed a job with a degree as opposed to now its inflated 20 fold and now a Masters Degree is required too. It just seems revolting how Baby Boomers have the nerve to talk about how they survived the Civil Rights/Vietnam era when even though there was so much national turmoil it didn’t matter if dollar stores were non-existent because things actually costed less than a dollar. To make these words even more embittered its the heads of capital investment also a bunch of boomers who’ve exported our jobs and allowed domestic prices run wild.
But back to the virtue, when teachers say unknown philosophical statements like this it usually leaves a meaningful impression. I recall thinking “I never thought of that.” It’s not like middle school students needed to think of that statement at that time in their lives. But surely all these educators must have known in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that a wave was coming towards the young workers of tomorrow. That overseas competition would grow and well paying jobs would be less of a given for many of us. Reflecting now it makes me really mad that school was a place telling us how lucky we were and not prepare the majority of students for professional careers. Not that 1984 is my intellectual bible but Orwell saw a degraded culture where the new generation would have no sense that contemporary life was actually worse than a better past time. The next time someone says how easy kids and young adults have it now a days with ipods, computers, smart phones, and monster.com tell them to shut up because these are just popular commodities and not proof of personal success, only success of sales and ownership. But then again no one talks about how easy kids have these days for obvious reasons.