“The children now love luxury;they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are tyrants, not servants of the households.”(Attributed to Socrates by Plato)
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… … the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint”. (Hesiod, 8th century BC)
“The world is passing through trouble times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behaviour and dress.” (From a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274)
Complaints against the young by the elders remained the same throughout the history. The same individual tends to show cultural optimism when young but spit venomous pessimism at the young after crossing over to adulthood. Most of us run the danger of being infected by this adult virus even today.
Youth possess noble, valuable and positive characteristics, as well as aggressive, violent and negative characteristics. They long for love, relationship and acceptance from parents, elders, friends, partners, and families. They socialise and build friends circle using modern social media. They are searching for purpose and meaning in what they want to do. Having grown in knowledge and with little of life experience they think, reflect and judge. They claim honesty, truthfulness, justice and consistency. They also look for fun and excitement through music, dance, travel and parties.
These characteristics of youth expressed without channelized energy, and aggravated passion tend to question the elders integrity. Our inability to be perfect makes us defend the situation. Our missed opportunity to be like them powers our jealousy. Instead of accompanying them with the dialogue, understanding and listening, we become judges and accusers.
The envisaged shift from working for children to the youth places us on the spring board. Either we learn to jump out of the board to the pool of learning or we might have a dangerous landing on the board itself.