As a sequel to last week’s blog post, in this week’s episode, Edla can’t handle the blatant disinformation that continues to appear on her timeline and mutes several people on social media.
Including some family.
So here it is:
If the young people of our world don’t care, we are screwed. All of us.
That’s it. That’s the blog.
Okay, I might have a little more to say to some adults in my life. Let’s start with this.
You don’t get to have it both ways. You can’t bemoan the apathy of ‘kids these days’ and in the next breath complain that they are pawns of liberal agendas when they speak passionately for a cause.
And if you really want to place blame on where we are as a society, it’s time to look in a mirror.
Here is an actual list of complaints about kids who participated in the recent climate strikes that landed in my Facebook feed this week….with my commentary added!
1.You are the first generation that required air conditioning in every classroom. Like most schools in rural Saskatchewan, ours was built in 1965, and I don’t think air conditioning was even invented yet. When it’s June, +30, and full of sweaty teenagers, feel free to stop in. But even so, I’m pretty sure most new office buildings (or schools) come equipped standard with AC, unless you want to argue that it’s cool for adults to have comforts but not children?
2.You want a TV in every room and your classes are all computerized. Ummm, who bought the kid that TV and PlayStation for their bedroom? And no. They aren’t. However, our rural kids are fortunate to have the option to take online classes in courses that wouldn’t be offered otherwise: Agriculture & Sustainable Food Production. Animation. Autobody. Cow/Calf Production. Energy and Mines. Equine Studies. Entrepreneurship. And that’s just up to E in the list! (I’m not sure how technology always gets tagged as the bad guy in these posts…)
3.Oh, speaking of which lol: You spend all day and night on electronic devices. Hellloooo, parents? Guessing most of you are paying for that device? Phones on the kitchen counter before bedtime…solved. And on the flip side, ever watch adults at the grocery store? Doctor? Rink? Kitchen table? Phones. Phones. Phones. Annnnd phones. I’m not saying that isn’t me too. Because it is. Just don’t say it’s only kids!
4.You don’t walk or ride bikes to school but arrive in caravans of private cars that choke local roads and worsen rush hour traffic. Hah, coming from a small town where almost all my classmates got brand new trucks or a sweet Trans Am when they turned 16, that’s rich. (I had 3 siblings and we shared a used Chevy S-10, and even at that we were spoiled.) Oh, and follow the SPS Twitter feed to get an idea of who is getting traffic tickets for speeding or parking in school zones. Hint: it’s the people with offspring. The ones who aren’t putting their kids on a school bus and drive them there instead.
5.You are the biggest consumers of manufactured goods ever. Everyone growing up in the 80s has forgotten about Calvin Klein jeans? Walkmans? Brand-names? Because trust me, as a kid who never owned any of the above, I noticed. I’m certainly not defending this. The forced-consumerism every time you upgrade a phone and none of the adapters work makes me sick. But this is not new.
6.Okay, this last point was long-winded, convoluted, and didn’t make a lot of sense. But the gist seems to be: that immigrants increase the need for energy-manufacturing-transport, and the more people we have, the more forest and bushland we clear, and more environment destroyed. Wow. I am a granddaughter of immigrants who cleared land using oxen when they homesteaded in the 1920s. Land that was the traditional territory of First Nation and Metis people…it’s always convenient when we leave out the part that at one point or another, most of our ancestors were also immigrants. And I’m pretty sure that the farmer breaking up pasture land just down the road from here, is motivated by his bottom line, and not the fact that 11,000 people moved to Saskatchewan last year.
It just didn’t get better. In fact, for someone who has worked with kids for the past two decades, it breaks my heart to hear them described as, “selfish, badly educated, virtue signalling little princesses” and more. You can see why some people got muted!
Yes, society is rapidly changing and it definitely has affected kids and families.
But at their core, kids have not fundamentally changed.
They are passionate. They believe in doing good. They aren’t afraid to take a stand. I think of youth groups and Scouts and Guides, who have for generations inspired kids to always do their best. More recently, I only have to remember the power of WE Day celebrations at SaskTel Center with thousands of kids, excited about positive social change on a local and global level. And what teen hasn’t read or watched the Hunger Games or Divergent, and not been moved by the courage of the protagonists?
They believe they can make a difference.
They are hardwired to try.
Like I said, if the time ever comes where even the young people of our world don’t care, then collectively, we are all screwed. We should be celebrating these kids, not publicly shaming them.
The world isn’t black and white, but that’s how my social media feed feels right now. And absolutely, diversity of beliefs is a strength, not a weakness. But you can’t talk climate change without looking honestly at the facts. (It’s snowing right now and my parents’ crops are buried under 10cm of snow already.) Tomorrow is Orange Shirt Day. You can’t talk reconciliation without first looking at the truth of Canada’s history with Indigenous peoples.
And you can’t talk about kids, without wholeheartedly and unreservedly believing that the kids are alright.
*Just don’t hold VSCO girls and Beanie Boos against them…we had mullets and Billy Ray Cyrus. It’s pretty much a toss up.
Have a great week everyone - hoping for some sunshine to melt this snow!
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