We live in a time when nobody ever seems to apologize for anything; they just weep and raise hell on the Oprah Winfrey Show – Kurt Vonnegut
I just returned from a great week with family at the beach. One of the great things about the beach is people watching, and I am not just talking about watching pretty girls in bikinis although I must confess I did some of that when my wife was not looking. Along with the bikinis, the massive presence of technology on the beach also caught my attention. Everywhere I looked there were men, women, boys, and girls piddling with cell phones and electronic tablets of every kind. In the past, people relaxed on the beach with paperback books in their hands, but the new book of choice on the beach is an electronic smart phone or tablet. In this era of the Kindle and countless other electronic readers, that is not unusual, but what I did find rather unusual was the number of people engaged in conversations on their cell phones. They were conversing on their phones while strolling along the water’s edge and standing waist deep in the water. I even saw a dad helping his children build a sand castle with a cell phone pinched between his ear and shoulder. In a world, where people can’t go to the toilet without a cell phone stuck to their ear, the intrusion of these devices on beaches once preserved as a place where families could focus on each other and tune out the rest of the world should not have been so surprising. But, maybe it was surprising due to my age!
As a Baby Boomer, I find girls in bikinis and vacations where families focus on each other rather than someone on the other end of a cell phone to be much more pleasing and relaxing. Unless there is an absolute emergency, I do not want to be reminded of anyone or anything not associated with my time away from the world I live in every day. However, I am not a product of the 21st Century, so what I consider to be normal and what is considered the norm by today’s younger generations does not always mesh. Yet, that does not stop me from believing the younger generations have a lot to learn about what is important in life, and that they could benefit greatly by simply going back to school.
You might need to go back to school if . . . .
- You believe saying “my bad” instead of “I’m sorry” is classier and less flippant;
- You believe the world owes you something for being alive – you feel entitled;
- You know more about what is going on with Kim Kardashian or Duck Dynasty than what is going on in the real world;
- You don’t believe “group-think” is alive and well on Facebook;
- You believe sending your child to his/her room without first removing access to the TV, Play Station, computer, IPad, and cell phone is punishment for inappropriate behavior;
- You correct other people’s trivial mistakes while ignoring your own;
- You cannot eat, sleep, watch TV, watch a movie, use the toilet, go to church, take a walk, go to the beach, swim, have a person to person live conversation, play with your children, or have a family gathering without talking, texting, playing a game or browsing the Internet on your cell phone;
- You try thinking and nothing happens;
- You judge people negatively who do not think or believe as you do; and
- You enjoy lazy writing such as “lists” over articles and books.
If you believe any of these, maybe you are a product of the 21st Century and need a school refresher course or two. But, if going back to school is not an option for you, then please understand and abide by the following Guidelines for Living regardless of the generation in which you were born:
Guidelines for Living
- You are not entitled to anything that you have not earned;
- The world does not revolve around you;
- People are not bad who disagree with you or who do not believe as you do;
- The only life rule that matters is to be kind; and
- There is but one purpose in life, and that is to love those around you.
©Jack Linton, June 23, 2015