What is wrong with this generation? I have been asked that question many times of late and there is no easy answer. But consider this:
A grocery manager explained what she saw. “These kid just come in for a paycheck. They could not care less about the store, the merchandise or the customers. Even the best of them will stop all work instantly to text a friend.”
When was the last time you went into a store and received good help? Perhaps recently, but what is the norm? Clerks who act like you are disturbing them by asking for help. Clerks who don’t care how long the line is, they are going to finish their break first. Clerks who not only don’t know anything but clearly don’t want to know anything. That is, if you are lucky to find a clerk who isn’t off hiding, texting a friend.
Consider even the church: Who are the successful ministers in this day and age? They are (primarily) those who know the right people to get in with, who preach what those people want to hear and who involve the church in the “good works” those people support. The rest of the church can be ignored, and often enough it is as ministers, the successful ones, hardly minister anymore.
Our culture has become so relativistic, and it isn’t just in our moral compass (ethical relativity). Many people today act like even something as simple as common courtesy is an option, and most of those people chose not to participate in being polite. (Polite is take it or leave it). Everyone is perfect (just as they are). No one is ever at fault. No one ever apologizes. And, it might not be pride, exactly, but it is a long way from humility. (Indeed, humility is ridiculed).
So my wife is ordering over the phone, and frustrated with the person on the other end. That person, she says, does not care one whit if the order is totally screwed up. After all, it isn’t her order, so it doesn’t impact her negatively in any way. And hey, if my wife has a problem, the clerk feels that is my wife’s problem and does not think twice about it.
To be blunt: we have become an “I don’t care if you get screwed” culture. We are a “my friends all think I’m nice. I don’t care what you think” culture. Or my favorite: we have become a “what’s in it for me” culture.
With relativity (ethical and otherwise) having swallowed the generation and with that generation taught to think more highly of itself than it ought (self-esteem run amok), what should we expect?
So the guy tries out for American Idol and he cannot sing a note. But his parents, siblings, teachers and everyone always said he had a great voice – and he is at a total loss as to why the judges do not agree. He just doesn’t get it. Singing quality is relative, isn’t it? How could they not see his greatness?
Jesus said we are to live differently. He warned us not to get caught up in the foolishness of this world. He taught that there was a difference between good and evil – right and wrong as surely as there was a difference between night and day. He taught that courtesy was a good thing. He put it this way: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Curiously, the majority of people who ask, “What is wrong with this generation?” are young and members of “this generation.” As often as not I could just simply say, try looking in the mirror – not that it would do much good. No doubt they think they look great. Maybe they will text their greatness to their friend.