As we get older, many of us have a tendency to do a number of things, the first of which can be to complain about the younger generation. You are not alone in this; indeed there is a quotation to the effect, “When are the young to be silent before their elders? How are they to show respect to them by standing and letting them sit? What garments are to be worn, what deportment and manners in general?” It is attributed to Socrates who died 2,500 years ago!
There is, however, one small problem with this attitude, which is that young people haven’t yet had the time to create the world that they live in. In fact, they inherit this from previous generations. As did everyone else including those of my own age. There is also another major difference between my generation and succeeding ones, especially those who are young today, and that is that mine was the Lucky Generation. Raised by those who fought the biggest war in history, so far, we lived through the social and cultural explosion that was the 1960’s with its optimism, radicalism, colour, fashion and music. Indeed, I recently listened to a commentator on Radio 4 saying that it was a golden age the likes of which we will never see again. More’s the pity.
So, complain less about young people, if indeed you do, and try to create a world that my predecessors did for my generation. Remember children don’t ask to be born; that’s, largely, their parents’ decision. Also remember that they, not you, will write your epitaph. So, if you want them to look after you in old age, look after them when they are young and, to create the conditions whereby, to quote my youngest daughter, “You’ve given me the wings to fly and the courage to pursue my dreams”. That’ll do for me.