The Youth today is weak and fragile. We see it everywhere. Women being offended by men holding the door open for them, kids shooting up schools because they can’t find a date, Excess litigation, riots and looting because they don’t “like” something, stranger danger, hyper sensitivity. All these things are the result of our nanny state.
When I was growing up in the early 1980’s people started yelling about “protecting the kids”. “Movies and TV are too violent.” “Music is evil.” “You have to protect the children!” It was all nonsense, but it worked. The “protect the children” mentality destroyed freedom of speech, and freedom of expression while ushering in a censored world that has left this new generation of children unable to cope with the harsh reality of life.
When I was a child, I would go home from school, walk across a busy street (there wasn’t a traffic light for miles, and the bus dropped me off on the other side of the street from where I lived), and then I would either go bike riding (without a helmet), skateboarding (no kneepads), or swimming in the ocean… by myself… when I was 9 years old. Did I ever get hurt? Yes. And it was a valuable lesson learned.
I had a bully when I was in elementary school. If I remember correctly, his name was Phillip. He was your standard bully. He’d pick on you, steal your lunch money, beat you up every once in a while… Things that bullies do. In retrospect, I am glad that Phillip was there to pick on me. If he hadn’t been, I never would have been prepared for the bosses I had to face when I got out of school. No schoolyard bullies taunts come close to the mental abuse I have received at the hands of several of the bosses I have worked for over the years.
One day, when I was in 4th or 5th grade, we were at recess throwing ninja stars at a tree (because in the 1980’s, ninjas were cool). Well Phillip came and took my ninja star from the tree that I had seconds before lodged it in, and proclaimed it to be his. We got into a fight over it, but this time, I kicked him in the nuts and he went down. I got my ninja star back, and Phillip stopped bullying me.
Now I am not sure if you were paying attention, so I will reiterate. In that story, 2 10 year old boys had a physical altercation on school grounds. During said altercation, both 10 year old boys were in possession of a deadly weapon at some point. Yet neither boy used the deadly weapon on the other. Why is that? Because we had all watched enough hyper violent movies to know that using a weapon in a fight is a lot more serious (and brings much heavier consequences) then just using your hands and feet.
Yes, by 10 years old I had seen almost all of Bruce Lee’s movies as well as Chuck Norris films like the “Missing in Action” film series as well as Charles Bronson films like the “Death Wish” series. I had seen the Clint Eastwood westerns, and all the B-rated Ninja movies. I had also seen tons of slasher movies.
Did these make me violent? No. In fact, they taught me the consequences of the violence they showed. The excess blood, gore and violence in these films taught me to be horrified at what using a weapon on someone else will do.
In ancient Sparta, a newborn child was left, overnight, on the edge of a cliff. If it survived until morning, it was strong enough to be a Spartan. In the middle ages, 50% of children did not survive long enough to reach puberty.
Today, we coddle our children. We put knee pads on them when they skateboard, helmets on them when they ride bikes. They stay in car seats until they are practically teenagers. We don’t let them see scary, or violent movies, or television shows.
We leave them unprepared for the horror that is the real world, and then we wonder why they still live with their parents until they are in their 30’s. Or why they can’t hold a job, or get offended by anything… or worse yet, why they shoot up a school.
Maybe if we let children be children, and stop trying to protect them from the real world, the real world won’t be such a shock to them when they finally have to live in it.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.