Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Training Day – The Kids Are Alright

Well the anticipated first thunder storm was a bust. Too bad. I like thunderstorms.
I was training a new recruit yesterday. I actually started with him on Friday and as I was pretty much ignoring the world this weekend, I chose to not have the opportunity to write before now. The tulips and the new tomato plants are doing just fine by the way, thank you for asking.
The new guy is in his twenties and one of the things I noticed was how he didn't pay attention long, had answers before I finished speaking and bounced around like a rabbit hopped up on industrial strength amphetamines. At first I put it down to video games and texting and chat rooms and one hundred-forty character sound bites. I mean, what is the youth of this world coming to? Can they not focus for more than ten seconds before everything has to be repeated?
Seriously! Who the hell is responsible for creating this nonsensical behaviour in youth?
As I was floating through time and space this weekend, I thought about it a bit. Some serious hiking in the bush working up a decent sweat with a couple of cameras will do that for me. It gets me thinking with a little more clarity and less of the white noise of living. The cameras help me focus, as it were. The wind whistling a happy tune blowing in one ear and out the other helps too.
I wasn't so different in my twenties.
I can still remember when I was a kid hearing my parents and other adults complaining how “these kids today just don't get it”. And we didn't. Our paradigm was different than our parents... and their parents before them. The massive changes occurring over the past two hundred years have increased the gap between generations. It's difficult to bridge the gap between people who lived through the Great Depression and those who grew up in the rebellious fifties and those who numbed their minds in the seventies and eighties and those who see life-like images created from pixels on a screen.
The only way to bridge the gap is to determine what kind of character a person develops.
I recall being overwhelmed by new life experiences in my twenties; marriage, jobs, university, girls becoming women, boys becoming bigger boys, cars, kids, finances, friends drifting, new friends, new relationships with parents, siblings and somehow trying to duct tape all that shit together into a cohesive ball that made sense to us. We were, each and every one of us, confused little balls of energy with very few of us having a clear direction.
And – for the first time in our recent history – we're about to hand off a world which may not be better off than the one we started with. Is it any wonder they're a bit muddled?
To the more advanced folks like myself, I think we're in good hands. We just have to trust.
I know a few twenty somethings. One is about to become a twenty-something. Fine young adults all. So, K, J, A, the new trainee kid and the other confused twenty-somethings out there wondering “what the... what?” ... you're going to be okay. Keep doing what you're doing and being who you are. This old fart thinks you're doing just fine.
And for the record you little twenty something tweezers, MY generation (the back end of the Baby Boom) are the real Gen Xers. Go get your own frigging letter.
Too bad I missed a good thunderstorm.