Human conditioning takes place every minute of every day- from the moment a child is born until the moment we take our last earthly breath.
We teach our children everything from moral values to socially acceptable behavior while they are in our care. Later in life, they mimic the behaviors of their peers and pick up traits from their teachers, coaches, and other influential adults. As adults, we acclimate to our social circle and to the community in which we live. These facts are not hidden gems of wisdom but mere common sense. Our lives are living proof of these principles.
So now, when one of the most common discussions in the news today revolves around the “lack of ambition” present in the young professional age group representing Generation X and Generation Y, it makes me wonder just where the “problem” originated from.
Perhaps we can attribute the actions of those “Occupying Wall Street” to a generational misgiving- a sense of entitlement that just happened to appear in the genetic code of this generation of Americans. Or perhaps we can attribute the highest unemployment rate this country has seen in the last thirty years (their entire lifetime) to the sheer laziness present in these young folks.
But maybe (just maybe), we should examine the fact that we are breeding our young people to behave this way. Unemployment benefits extended for up to 99 weeks?!? I know plenty of people who haven’t been unemployed for 99 minutes from the time they were old enough to carry a work permit until they were eligible for retirement. It didn’t matter if the job paid minimum wage or not- an earned wage was more satisfying than a handout. So why are so many people taking advantage of the unemployment system? The answer is simple- because we’ve enabled them to do so.
Monday Morning Perspective
“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” –Sam Ewing
“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” –Pope Paul VI
We face many challenges when it comes to resurrecting the spirit with which this great country was founded, but blaming people for taking advantage of social policies that we’ve collectively implemented over time will certainly not begin that journey.
If we want this next generation to be the greatest this country has ever known, then we must remember what we have learned to be fundamentally true. My sons will never master their studies if I complete their homework for them and they will never understand the value of hard work unless I allow them to experience the satisfaction that comes along with it.
If we claim to be tired of people who have a sense of entitlement then it’s time we stopped conditioning them to be complacent. Overcoming a challenge never hurt anyone, but never facing any certainly has. Strength and resilience are the by-products of overcoming adversity. Building a strong country and economy begins with molding strong individuals- and we all have a role to play in that.
Have a wonderful week- and just remember that when you’re struggling today you’re building strength for tomorrow!
© Crystal Dyer 2012. All rights reserved.