Sunday, January 26, 2014

...So How far have We come, Really?



...call it one of nature's interesting quirks with a young person's coming of age...or perhaps not.

Our youth, upon reaching a year or two from adulthood, (my son very much included,) are enabled with an inborn trait, often released while biting into their birthday cake on their sixteenth birthday, of shaping their own opinions on our society's hot topics, and expressing those thoughts to anyone willing to lend an ear.  ...for as long as it takes.     

They raise a subject of concern at the dinner table or during advertisements prior to a movie, whether appropriate for a younger audience or not, and go right into their personal opinions without stopping for air, or heaven forbid, rebuttal from a parent.  If not mindful of an upcoming disagreement, such discussions can lead to a shouting match before the table is cleared of dirty dishes. 

This past weekend, left all but trapped inside as Mother Nature dealt us yet another blast of winter, our seventeen year old made the most of the opportunity, speaking of everything from politics to the legalities behind criminal execution, to the upcoming Super Bowl being played in sub-zero New York City.  

...and we listened, biting our tongues.  

The new drug administered to a death row criminal in Ohio that failed miserably, leading to a lawsuit by the deceased inmate's family.

Suffering through one of our country's coldest winter's on record, as a result of global warming trends, all at the fault of us, the wasteful.

Abortion rights. (When this subject slips from my son's lips, I find an excuse to leave the room, knowing that for the next twenty minutes, the boy and his mother will make for an uncomfortable evening.  They'll each look to me for backing each of their own opinion...and I won't be able to please them both.)

And the violence of us, in modern society.  Fighting over stuff, wants, not needs, bloodshed and a basic lack of common sense by those who should know better.

I'm proud of my son for his stand on many subjects, and question a few, but value his input.  It causes a parent to wonder if bringing a child into this world was really the smart thing to do?  

Or maybe, it'll be that child who will bring change.  Perhaps he/she will be the person this country's been waiting for all along.  Maybe...

"It's funny, despite all the amenities we, the modern consumers have achieved, how little we've actually grown as a society." 

My son's words, not mine.  And yet...

Young men still gather along the banks of the Feroe Island in Denmark every year, to slaughter hundreds of Calderon Dolphins with hooks and crowbars as a show of manhood.  Friendly creatures, nearly extinct, lured in to the coast, and killed for show, the coastline brimming in crimson for days following. 

  http://www.snopes.com/photos/hunting/dolphinhunt.asp

Receiving a call from Social Services to accept an abandoned child who was birthed into a toilet and left behind.  The mother?  She's on welfare, but driving around in a two year old Kia, paid for with monthly checks from the state.  

And so I listen to my son's opinions, agree with a few, shake my head at others, and think, "Please do better than we have.  Please."  

Thanks for reading, it's good to be back ;)

El


16 comments:

D.G. Hudson said...

We want our young to see society for its reality, not its marketing image. But, when they do, it scares us.
Good luck! Communication is good.

Donna Hole said...

I hear ya El. Its hard to know if our children are the hope of the future, or the doom of our youthful folly. Just gotta be grateful they have an opinion and follow global politics at all.

I've bitten my tongue on many occasions when my now adult children have their say about the politics of today. Their take on the world is important. But . . .

Well, everyone grows up, yes?

....dhole

Murees Dupé said...

I think the way you feel about your son is exactly the way my mother feels about me and my views. I think your son is the kind of person that will make a difference. He at least cares enough to have given serious issues some thought, most kids his age never do. When my views differ from my mom's, she just tells everyone I'm an alien.

Elise Fallson said...

</3
I worry about the future that awaits my children, more than I can express in a comment box. I just hope I succeed in raising them right and giving them the tools necessary to succeed. Raising kids in today's world is the most difficult job there is.

Elliot Grace said...

Hey D.G, so very true, communication is key. Thanks for stopping by!

Hey Donna, my hope is that some day my son and I will be sitting around a fire, laughing at his many ideas, and those comments that tend to raise the hair on my arms. Or he'll run for congress... ;)

Hey Murees, the alien thought has in fact entered my mind a time or two as of late. Thanks for dropping in ;)

Hey Elise, you are correct, it's the most important, yet most stressful challenge that one can face. I'm sure you're doing a fine job with your little one's.

El

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, El.

It's been ages. Hope you are well!

Your scenario reminded me so much of my youth and discussions at the dinner table, culminating into a shouting match with my and my parents. But I had to deal with 1950's prejudice and at times it was SO frustrating to me.

But, I think it's great that this is still happening. Your son has passion and that's a WONDERFUL thing! In time, he'll use that passion for change. He is young, but life will educate him soon enough.

Thanks for sharing your slice of the world.

Jemina said...

Hey El,
It's a good thing to know that when a majority of youth is busy wasting their life on ice and other drugs there are a few who voice their thoughts, who not only keep a track of what's what but also form a rigid opinion. I am sure your son will make a difference one day (he is doing it already in his own ways by paying attention)
Regards..:)

Elliot Grace said...

Hey Michael, great to hear from you! Yes, my son carries a particular drive that will hopefully lead him to a bright future. I don't always agree with him, but one can't help but respect the emotion. Thanks for dropping by ;)

Hey Jemina, thanks so much for your comments. He's done well for himself thus far, just hoping he keeps that drive.

El

Denise Covey said...

Hello Elliot. Good to see you back, and with such a thoughtful post. The young need to have the freedom to express their opinions; it is refreshing to hear what they have to say. It's often been the young who've tried to bring about change, to shake up the status quo as we grow jaded and frustrated with the craziness of the world around us as we grow older.

Funny. We also have been locked inside for the opposite reason - it's been heatwave conditions in Australia. Venturing outside, unless to go swimming or to an air-conditioned shopping centre, is madness. Thankfully, it's getting a little cooler.

Denise

Chris said...

Hi Elliot, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

Amy Saia said...

Doesn't it seem like more than ever before the younger generation has much to deal with and change? Like you, I have faith they will choose the road of positivity and progress--it can't get much worse than it is now.

Nicki Elson said...

Elliot! (You should know that I say this with an E.T.-style accent).

Oh my gosh---I've got one of those living in my house too! He just turned 16 last fall. And oh my, was I laughing at your description of the dinner table conversation. It's so on the money. Hmm, I'm going to have to pay attention to the timing of my husband's exits from the room and see if I notice a pattern...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

John Steinbeck wrote of talking with his two teenage sons in a winter trip in "Conversation in Sag Habor" in 1960 -- and guess what the same things were discussed by he and his sons.

From generation to generation, teens have questioned the world they are about to enter, seeking some compass with which to guide their actions.

John Steinbeck's words to his sons: "You have to live with yourself. Make decisions that will make it possible to sleep at night with some measure of self-respect. You can't change the outer world only your inner one."

One day, a series of terrible choices will trigger the end of us until then we must live in a way that when the end comes, we can meet with head held high.

Great post. :-)

Elliot Grace said...

...Hey Denise, thanks so much for your kind words. Wow! Major heat wave...trying to decide which is worse! Thanks for stopping by ;)

Hey Chris, thanks for joining the club, I'll most definitely do the same ;)

Hey Amy, I agree, in our current state, there's no where to go but up.

Hey Nicki, what's up, 80's girl? Hoping I didn't get the hubby busted for his timely table departures ;) Thanks for stopping by!

Hey Roland, sobering words, but so true. Thanks so much for your visit, hope all is well down in the Bayou.

El

Morgan said...

I worry for the future. Big time. I worry that our children are too privileged... too entitled? It's a different world now, and it makes me sad that my kids don't get to grow up in the world I grew up in...

Having a seventeen-year-old would freak me out! I'm scared to have teenagers. Please keep posting your stories, El, because I'm going to need advice! :)

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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