Take a Chill Pill: It's Not the End of the World

It seems like everywhere I look, I see people declaring that the world is getting worse and worse by the second.  Death and famine across the globe, greedy men exploiting the poor, and other such travesties.  Why, just look at this quote I found about today’s young people:

"Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers."

Now, who do you think said that?  The president?  The pope? Some big wig with an over-inflated sense of self-worth who runs a national organization?  Actually, that quotation is attributed to Socrates in the fourth century B.C. Funny how one might assume it’s about our modern kids.

There is nothing that is as equally likely to make me rage and roll my eyes as people talking about the end of the world being close at hand because we’re all such terrible, terrible creatures.  Yes, technologies like Facebook and Twitter may give people a chance to write poorly spelled drivel, but at least those folks can read and write, which is more than what you’d find in the Dark Ages.  Yes, the Internet makes it possible to witness atrocities the world over, filling our news stations and websites with horrific tales of violence and oppression, but at least those stories can get out because of the technology the common man now possesses.

We live in a world where food is a grocery store away, where the biggest killers are heart diseases (as opposed to one hundred years ago when it was TB and cholera), where the biggest worries you have are budgeting to have a stuffed pantry and heated, clean house that runs on electricity.  There are twisted people dwelling in this world, and there are idiots, jerks, manipulators, and other refuse of society, but that’s nothing new.  We just hear more about them and their deeds now because Twitter and Youtube make access to such things easier than cooking popcorn in a microwave.

Your kid having a smartphone and not knowing who Charles Dickens is does not foretell the collapse of Western civilization.  Hearing stories of violence on the TV or Internet is tragic, but the fact that it shocks and horrifies you is a sign that such things are not in fact the norm where you dwell.  If you still feel the world is such a horrible place, kindly get up and do something with a local organization, or at the very least donate to a worthwhile charity.  After that, kindly cease and desist with the moaning.  It doesn’t help anything, and will only annoy those around you.

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