Friday, January 28, 2011

Generation "I"

There were the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. What followed were the "Millennials", sometimes known as Generation I: the Internet Generation.

Oh, it's Generation "I" alright. But, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Welcome to Generation Inconsiderate - human beings nourished from the cradle on enough self-esteem to muddle the brains of Einstein. There are no losers (trophies for everyone!), no expectations (sure, live with your parents until you're 30... no need to grow up!) and no obligation to worry about anyone but Y-O-U. P.S. Have I mentioned how wonderful, talented, and amazing you are lately? I haven't?

Well, someone has. How else do you think all those tone deaf singers end up on American Idol, fully believing they have the pipes to take the crown?

It drives me up the wall, a fact of which I am reminded any time I happen on a news article highlighting the symptoms of our all-about-me culture. It's a little thing I like to call the Screw You Effect. And it's everywhere.

You've seen it: You're sitting at church when someone's little darling goes dancing down the aisle with not even the slightest glance from his parents, who, a generation ago, would have been tripping over themselves to rein in their tiny escape artist.

Or, you're in a restaurant when someone's child starts screaming and throwing silverware. Instead of removing said child from the premises until he can get control of himself, the parents continue chomping on their low-cal bleu cheese, oblivious to the fact that the entire restaurant is scrambling for earplugs.

Then there are those women who want to nurse a hungry baby, so they whip out their breasts as if they expect to use them in a milk fight and let little Johnny latch right on. After putting their headlights on display for the whole world to see, if some poor old gentleman makes the mistake of asking these Mama Bears to cover up, the claws come out.

Let me be clear: I have no opposition to children in restaurants as long as the establishment has high chairs or a kid's menu. And I think nursing mothers should be able to breastfeed whenever and wherever they need to. But consideration goes a long way. Take your child out in the church foyer if she can't contain herself. Cover up when you are nursing. Remove your screaming infant from a restaurant.

Just because you might be a part of Generation "I" doesn't mean you have to buy into its mantra.

Common courtesy, folks. It goes a long way.

No comments: