Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spoiled Kids

As a mom of a teenagers, one of my biggest challenges is to convince the kids that they have no real reason to be dissatisfied with their lot. Every time one of them starts with the "I'm depressed" or "Life stinks," I'm right there to disagree. Whether the serious lecture, the sarcastic speech or the rhetorical questions, the points don't change:

1. You have parents in a happy, loving, committed relationship.
2. They love you and do their best for you, listen to you and play with your more than their parents did. (Sorry Mom and Dad, but it's true.)
3. You have siblings who, even with the standard arguments get along with you better than a lot of siblings we know.
4. You have a roof over your head, so much food you can afford to not clean your plate, desert and junk food far too often.
5. You have a good school with teachers that care and kids that, even when snobby, are kinder than many we grew up around.
6. You have computer games, MP3 players, TV and all forms of entertainment in addition to a plethora of other board games, crafts, science kits....
7. Your dad's in a stable job that brings in a good paycheck and gets him home to us, even if not always at a reasonable hour.

It seems to me that the more people have, the easier it is to feel dissatisfied. Now, I've read I'm not the only one to see that. A Generation Tries to Imagine Life Without iPods.

I love the last line in the article:
After my lecture, one young woman walked up to me on her way out and huffed: "What I favor is a radical redistribution of wealth in America." I tried to tell her that America's greatness is a result of our focus on creating wealth, not redistributing it. But it was too late -- she was already tuning in to her iPod.


If it had been me, I would have told her, "OK. empty your wallet and give me your cellphone and iPod so I can hock them and get the money to people in real need." I'll even go one further and find someone who actually believes, despite their impoverished situation, that they are blessed to be alive in this century and this country.

1 comment:

Gray Rinehart said...

You're on to something: it sure seems that the more we have, the more we want. We find it hard to emulate St. Paul's "I have learned to be content" attitude.

Then again, if everyone were completely content, not much would get done. A lot of ambition and achievement comes from wanting more and being willing to work for it.