People Who Need People

MCayou By MCayou, 12th Oct 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Compared to when I was a kid, society challenges us in ways we never could have imagined. With the current trends, what is to become of us?

Personal Essay

People Who Need People

Nearing the end of third grade, my family moved to Suburbia, where we could walk, unmolested by the clown du jour, to every school we would need for the next decade. Phones were connected to the walls and the TV had about six channels. We actually had to somehow move ourselves toward the beast and manually turn a knob in oder to change the channel. Al Gore had yet to invent the world wide web of societal destruction and accessing information was done through opening things called books. Kids were raised by their parents - both of them - and the brand of our sneakers didn’t matter. Schools did not offer free or reduced breakfasts, lunches, or summertime meals. We were outside until dark or until someone was seriously hurt. Nobody had ADD, ADHD, or Dyslexia - or at least if we did it remained undiagnosed and we worked around it. Sure, there was always that weird kid, and yeah, we picked on him, but I don’t recall him growing up to go on a shooting rampage.

Having grown up in a different time, in a different society with different values and expectations, and what seems like, quite frequently, in a different world, is it any wonder that I now feel out of step? It seems that life had more permanence and stability when I was a kid. I have to wonder if my parents felt the same way. I miss my parents, but am glad they are not here to bear witness to our sad new world. Us older folks now look back on a much simpler time, not necessarily an easier time, but yes, simpler, and somehow more worthwhile.

We developed a work ethic that would serve us well for a lifetime. We learned how to communicate face to face and that our integrity and reputations should be carefully monitored. We were allowed to choose from enriching activities to fill our free time. We did our homework and suffered the consequences when we didn’t.

When did our solid foundation begin to crumble out from under us? When did people decide to ignore wedding vows and discard relationships at the first sign of conflict? When did adults with children (deliberate exclusion from the ranks of parents) start to expect a school to raise, feed, and sometimes clothe their spawn. When did it become so important for said spawn to spew their shameless selfies and insipid judgements of others across the globe? When was homework simply eliminated because students don’t have a conducive environment in which to do it? When did Mother Nature herself seem to be attempting to eradicate a vile and base element through destruction and death?

We can blame technology - in the form of internet, video games, camera phones, etc. ad nauseam, which I often do, for the decline of morals, motivation, and social skills. We can blame Wall Street and corporate greed for the economy and a growing global population for the decimation of natural resources and the strain on the education system. We can blame global warming for the abundance of violent weather events. Hell, we can casually flip blame for anything in any number of directions - that’s what we do. The fact remains, though - inescapable and undeniable - that people, singularly and collectively, are responsible for all that ails us. And it is people, these same youngsters who can’t look us in the eye and shake hands, who can’t be afforded a permanent residence, who can’t afford to pay for a school lunch, who can’t be bothered to pry their face away from a screen long enough to engage in conversation, who we will look to for solutions to our litany of woes. Obviously, these poor little urchins are not being equipped to succeed.

Fortunately, balance graces most things in our universe; for every action, a reaction. For every sour, a sweet. For every darkness, a light. For every down, an up. For every kid who faces serious challenges on a daily basis - to just survive, let alone succeed - is a kid upon whom the fates have smiled. This is the kid who will strive for a better grade, a stronger relationship, a more tolerant community, and hopefully, a brighter fate - for all of us. I just hope, for my grandchildren’s sake, it won’t be too little, too late.


Children, Fate, Future, Remember When, School Issues, Society, Technology

Meet the author

author avatar MCayou
As a retired English teacher, I have much to say on topics from education to psychology to societal influences.

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