I guess I must just be getting old or something because there are so many things that I see going on around me that, in my opinion, make no sense at all. I’ll give you some examples…
Today I pull up to the traffic lights. It’s a nice day and I have my window down enjoying the weather. Suddenly a vehicle pulls up alongside me with what I call “boom-crash” noise blaring so loud that I feel as though my ears are being assaulted. The young woman in the vehicle is thrashing her head wildly back and forth. She reminds me of a zulu warrior readying herself for battle.
I try to listen to it but I’m so affronted that I have to put the window up. The incessant boom-crash is coupled to a tirade of unintelligible words all strung together like the longest website URL that you have ever seen. I still can’t escape the noise. I can almost feel it thumping through the glass at me. Still the young girl is thrashing her head back and forth. She seems to be in some sort of dervish. I smile at how silly she appears, but she is oblivious.
The lights change to green. Blessedly, the young woman tears away at breakneck speed sucking that horrible noise away from me. She has one hand on the steering wheel the other flicking ash from a cigarette out the window. I slow down for the amber light. Little Miss Deaf Ears flattens the accelerator and spears her little red Hyundai through the busy intersection as though it were a missile. I shake my head at her recklessness.
A minute later I drive by and witness the same vehicle at the service station waiting in a line to re-fuel. I sigh at the futility of it all. I don’t get the intensity of the so-called music. I don’t get the impatience that causes the young woman to speed like that. And I sure don’t get the dangerous manner that she powered recklessly through the busy intersection.
I talk to many young people in my travels. Most of them rack up hundreds of dollars in speeding fines and hundreds of dollars every month in wasteful cell phone calls. I don’t get that either. There is nothing to show for the experience – just mounting debt. What a shameful waste!
Listening in on conversations between these youngsters reveals more horror for me. The favorite topics of conversation are how blind drunk they were able to get on the weekend. If they are to be believed one gathers the impression that the entire weekend was spent in a mindless stupor of intoxification. Apparently, this constitutes “having a good time.”
Next topic of conversation is the latest batch of pills and potions that send you “off your face.” I have to confess that I really don’t get that either. To me, mind-altering drugs are a scourge to be avoided at all cost.
“Shop till you drop” and retail therapy” are words that are often bandied about. They seem to be cure-all measures that young people use to combat depressive moments. It would seem to me that what is purchased is actually nowhere near as important as “the act” of spending and being seen to be affluent. More mounting debt – most of it seems to be attached to expensive store cards and credit cards. At some stage this debt has to be paid.
Many youngsters seem to be so confused. All they seem to live for is the present moment. It also appears to be a great necessity to be constantly in an euphoric state – hence the alcohol and drug taking. The term “drug of choice” while abhorrent to me is normal language to them, as are “shooting galleries” and “harm minimization.” I don’t get any of those terms.
In trying to help some of these young people I offer them books to read – some from my private collection, others that I have written myself. They stare at me as though I am quite mad. Read a book? Why? Now, THEY don’t get it. I hear them snickering as my well-intentioned offer is rejected out of hand.
It saddens me to think that the world has become so dark and frightening for young people that so many of them live only for the moment. They have no plans, no savings and no desire other than hedonistic pursuits and instant gratification.
So many young people are just being overtaken by consumerism. Drugs, alcohol, debt and reliance on others are just some of the evils that lie in wait for these unfortunate youngsters. I’m not saying that ALL our youth is exactly the same but most of them display some or many of these negative traits. Not only are they unwilling to learn they just don’t seem to care.
I know the world is not a perfect place. In fact, it’s far from it. It never has been. But we must try to do the best we can despite all the pitfalls. So many of our young folk appear to have simply given up. They don’t even want to try. They just don’t get it. Quite frankly, neither do I.
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