YWTT: Mothers, Teach Your Children Well
This post is part of the You Write the Title series – title submitted by Karen.
Here are a couple of quotes that I love.
“You see parents as kind or unkind or happy or miserable or drunk or sober or great or near-great or failed the way you see a table square … We’re just bodies and shoulders and scarred knees and big bellies and empty wallets and flasks to you. I’m not saying something cliché like you take us for granted so much as I’m saying you cannot… imagine our absence. We’re so present it’s ceased to mean. We’re environmental.” – David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
“Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires’. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.” – Horace, Odes (~20 BC)
Every generation had it simpler, people were more polite, entertainment was more enriching, life was more wholesome. Every next generation is worse: the decline of morality and contemplation is irreversible and deplorable.
And every generation, a few years before they start thinking those things, thinks that their elders have always been as they are now. Elder. Every generation is the ones who get it, who get what all the previous generations didn’t and couldn’t.
Every generation is the one that will save the world, and then when they can’t, they’re the ones who tell the next one they can’t either. Isn’t it a bit of a sad cycle?
You can argue about the benefits of the digital world, but one of its brightest ones, to me, is that it lets people learn about each other in a more context-free environment. It can be a lot easier to understand a person as a feeling soul, without preconceptions, in writing. We can learn about each other without generational assumptions when we don’t see each other. Perhaps that’s a cowardly workaround, but it seems to work.
I think one of the hardest balancing acts anyone can do is to keep children safe but let them explore. Perhaps we do decline every generation. But perhaps, someday, eventually, there will be enough kids that understand their generation – and their elders – that we might not.
If you’re keeping track, here are the YWTT archives:
You Write the Title IV:
- Now That’s Sexy
- Shut Up / Hot Chicks With Douchebags
- In Praise of Ostriches
- Why Exactly British TV Is So Damn Good
- Kicking Cancer’s Ass
- I’ve Had a Crush and Didn’t Know It
- Foreign Travel Opened My Mind
- Full Moon
- The Strength of the Flamingo
You Write the Title III:
- The Audacity of Mustaches
- Why Hot Women Should Date Jeff Hoyak
- If I Were a Billionaire
- If I Had My Very Own Unicorn
- The Tao of Henry
- Milk, Elmo and Mommy: The Complex Life of an 18-Month Old
- Shakespeare and Auto Repair
You Write the Title I and II:
- World’s Greatest
- Life as a Black Belt
- If There’s One Thing I’ve Learned
- Are You Experienced?
- I Love Trevor Bratton So Much
- Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
- How I Hit the Jackpot