The youth of today … a lost generation?

By Ray Fauteux.

Leadership Path

We are all a product of our environment, and today’s youth is a perfect example of that. Today’s kids find themselves enveloped by a world of fast food and state-of-the art technology. Basically the path their lives will take is being determined by high tech toys like computers, I-pods, cell-phones, and mind-numbing video games.

Every corner they walk by has a MacDonald’s, KFC, or Dairy Queen. Super-markets have 60 foot aisles of soft drinks and potato chips. Their schools have machines on every floor spewing out the same fat and sugar-laden treats.

At one time a youth was considered lost if he was in the local street gang. That was then and this is now.

Today’s kids are lost because for the most part they have no concept of how to look after themselves. Eating healthy and staying fit are foreign concepts to most young adults of today’s world. They have been so inundated with poor food choices that obesity in schools across North America has reached epidemic proportions. Kids as young as 12 or 14 are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

A lost generation? I’ll say.

Instead of being outside biking, running, or playing ball, many kids stay in their rooms huddled over their computers. Poor fitness and diet often compute to being over-weight. Along with that problem comes low self-esteem. That in turn results in a myriad of social problems. The problem is further compounded by lack of social skills and often kids become loners and do poorly scholastically.

The biggest danger of all is that today’s youth depends so much on technology to supply all the answers, that when they suddenly find themselves out in the real world, they are lacking many of the necessary skills to do even the simplest of tasks.

You see them everywhere. Teens who can’t count out change. Teens who can’t spell. They can’t write properly. Every time I go into a retail outlet at the mall and give the part-time sales people real money for my purchase, I can see they actually tense up. I’ve unwittingly put him on the spot. Now he has to think. Especially if his register does not tell him the exact amount of change to give me. Sometimes that doesn’t even help. Once, a young guy in a electronics shop tried 3 times to give me the proper change and never did get it right. I finally just gave up and left with $1.85 too much of the stores money. I tried everything I could to give it back. He just didn’t get it.

This is supposed to be the generation of wonder kids. My God! Look at the incredible technology they have at their finger-tips. A personal computer! There was no such invention when I was in school. We were enthralled with a Smith-Corona typewriter that ran on electricity.

Instead of helping them, this technology is a weight around their necks. It’s stifling their education and practical learning skills. It keeps them inside when they should be outside. Ultimately, their over-all health is suffering.

Lost! Today’s kids are marooned!

I really, truly worry about the generation that is going to inherit the Earth when we are gone. I think in many ways, we as adults have let them down. We have let them down because he have done a poor job in many important areas of preparing them for what their future has in store.



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