I read another Facebook post along the lines of “Like this if you grew up in a time when parents didn’t find it necessary to spend time with their kids, everybody only ever ate gruel, and the government didn’t tell people they had to wear seat belts, and you turned out just fine.”
I assume that these little passive aggressive pieces of wisdom are supposed to show that anybody who believes in anything crazy like scientific research, or longitudinal studies, should just have a long hard think about kids today.
Aside from the arrogance of assuming that you are the pinnacle of human development, I don’t understand why anybody would wish that their generation never be bested. Why would you wish for anything other than an ongoing improvement of humanity?
Look at the world around you, people! I sure hope that this isn’t the best we can do.
That’s not to say that I don’t think there have been some exceptional generations before, as well as exceptional people within those exceptional generations. I have known some of those people personally. I have also read about some of those people. The wit of Oscar Wilde. The selfless dedication of Florence Nightingale. The inspired genius of whoever thought of roasting cocoa beans.
I also think that my generation is pretty great. There are plenty of people around today who are doing whatever they can to make the world a better place, be it locally or globally. And I think that my kids are pretty great. My husband and I are doing our best to make sure that they reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives.
Despite this, I sincerely hope that each new generation is the greatest generation. I hope that the next generation is smarter, healthier, happier, and better at fixing up all the problems caused by the generations that came before.
I hope that all of the really intelligent people who have dedicated their life to studying areas like the brain, nutrition, and childhood development have been able to come up with useful recommendations to help make this the case.
Moreover, I hope that if in twenty years some research comes out that shows that some aspect of my parenting was not ideal, I don’t get all defensive about how I was raised or how I raised my children, because look I’m great and they’re even better.
I hope that I am able to be grateful that science is continuing to make breakthroughs in order that we, as a collective humanity, are able to learn and and change and grow.
And I hope that if we do one day reach perfection, that the perfect generation is not so snarky on Facebook.