There is a lot of opinion and speculation on what has become of this upcoming generation. The youth that will soon be taking over and making decisions for all of our futures. I believe every generation before us said the same thing as they saw the change and evolutions of our societies and watched as cultures slowly burned out. Left to watch helplessly as society fell apart and the very fabric that held us together began to rot. It’s our turn now to analyze and speculate on the development of our youth and what they represent, who they will be and how they will take things from here.
Every generation before us spoke about the clothing, sex, music, and fashion that changed since they were young. We speak about the violence that has overtaken our youth. We can always find things to blame, even ourselves but does that really help us pinpoint the problem so we can correct it?
I was raised in a harsh environment, extremely poor and you worked for everything. We survived, we didn’t have a lot and we didn’t get the luxury of complaining. We did what we had to do to get by. It was just the way it was.
Attempting to raise my children with the same morals, laws, and standards that I was raised with came with a reality check. I didn’t know that I was growing up at the very end of what would be a lost generation. It was happening around me but my world was so different I didn’t even realize so much had changed until I had kids of my own.
I never wanted to have kids.
I dreamed of moving to New York and becoming a writer, living the single life at its best. I had planned to go from there, get my law degree and one day when I had learned enough to enter into politics even with the hopes of one day being the first woman President.
Needless to say, those dreams are easier to reach when you are young, hopeful and life hasn’t sucked your soul from you.
It wasn’t until I became pregnant with my son, my firstborn, that I realized what my parents really went through. They had six kids, five girls, and one boy. They struggled to make ends meet and did the best they could, but at that time we couldn’t see that.
Each of us has high intelligence and strong personality and all capable of great things but we didn’t have the advantage of a road paved in gold. We grew up with hardship and struggle and the ability to overcome and survive anything. It wasn’t till I was older I could see the value in the hard life lessons we were taught as children. I apologize to my parents regularly as my children grow and mature.
I tried to raise my children as I was raised. Instill all those life teachings in them as were put into me, things I was taught that made me who I am, but my dad failed to inform me that not everyone would be the same as me or live by this code. I made sure my children knew that just because others don’t live by the code doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
I removed my children from both sides of their families because there were behaviors and actions, I didn’t want them to grow up and see.
I naively assumed I could show them a better life, I could teach them better and warn them of their family curses in hopes they would not go down the same roads so many in their families had. I was careful to only share the good and never the bad when it came to their family member’s actions and I lived in my bubble hoping that what I was doing as a single mother with no help would be enough to turn them into amazing people.
I had big dreams, those dreams where shot down when I had children but I had a realization that maybe my life wasn’t intended for me to do great things but for me two raise children who would. That became my goal and purpose.
My best efforts were never enough to protect them from who they were, the blood that ran through their veins, the DNA that made and defines them. As the years went on, as they became their own people, they became more like the very people I protected them from. It was a hard pill to swallow, to accept my best wasn’t good enough.
The reality that some things are just coded into our DNA became very real. Good parenting can still correct mistakes, and help guide our children on the right path but some things I believe are just born into us. They say the sins of the father are passed down to the sons, maybe that’s exactly what that means, some things we can’t fight.
Our children seem to be growing up in a world with a lack of empathy, with no fear of long-term consequences. School shootings have become a regular occurrence, schools are designed more like prisons.
Sex, drugs, and violence are nothing to this upcoming generation, even in kids from good attentive families. These issues have become a social norm. None of these things are new but the media exposure to them is.
They advertise their criminal behaviors on social media as if it’s something to be proud of. It seems like every day we hear about a teenager shooting up a school, committing suicide or being involved in hardcore criminal behavior.
Nature or nurture I don’t believe there is anything that can’t be corrected if we try. We can make excuses, justify our behaviors and blame things on our parents but at the end of the day, we are all in control of our destiny.
We can raise our kids to be better in spite of their genetics and help guide them to make their own future and not make excuses.