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  Home :: Blog :: Thankful Perspective Skip Navigation Links
Thankful Perspective      
  11/23/2012 6:54:32 PM

The recent election stirred up a great deal of talk about the state of the country. There’s a good deal of complaint of how this generation is becoming more and more entitled. I am not writing to complain, nor defend this observation. Instead, Thanksgiving gave me a chance to take a step back, and see this whole thing in a different light.

The previous generation was the one that built this nation with their hands. They went to work to make things. When things broke, they fixed things. Soap box carts were built in the garage with lumber and nails. Enter my generation… Ours became one of the disposable generation. It became cheaper to buy a new one rather than to fix the old. We used Styrofoam cups and Pampers. We used paper plates and plastic forks. We gave birth to the era of instant gratification. Email instead of snail mail. Overnight deliveries, and the internet. My personal favorite is Amazon.com. Just look at its evolution. It went from selling books to selling a lot of books, to selling just about everything. Once upon a time, it was super convenient for us to go online, order a DVD, and have it arrive in our mailbox in 1 week. Then came Prime. One week is just too long to wait. Now, for selected movies, you even get to watch the online version for free just to carry you over for the blu-ray to arrive in 2 days, because 2 days is just too long to wait! Today, myself included, the majority of the world use a great number of services online for free. Gmail, Google, Bing, Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, just to name a few. On top of this, we have become so entitled that we get extremely upset when these free services go down. When did we become a generation which when we voluntarily put our personal information on someone else’s desk, that it is now their responsibility to keep it safe for us? That’s like walking into Walmart, placing your wallet on one of the counters, putting your name on it, and expecting Walmart to keep it safe for you. What has Google, Facebook, Microsoft, done to warrant such responsibility? Coming back to “free.” What have these companies done to require them to provide free services? I once heard a young man say in a TV interview, “All services should be free. The plumber, the doctor, etc, why can’t they offer their services for free like Facebook and Google?” The only reason companies like Google and Facebook are able to offer free services is because people who make things buy ads. The second those people realize these ads do not work, Google and Facebook would have to start charging for their services.

There, I’ve just become one of those complaining about this generation. I won’t be surprised if I got you to do the same. The fact is, when we start to look around, it’s very easy for us to start to point our fingers, and say, you guys are ruining this country. This Thanksgiving gave me an opportunity to realize that we have done to our parents’ generation what this current one is doing to ours. To a generation that built things with their hands, and saved every penny so we can have a better life, the fruits of their labor have already been squandered by our disposable lifestyle. I’m not sure we will be able to turn our, and the next, generation back from this disposable, instant gratifying, entitled lifestyle. The least we can do is learn to be thankful for those that came before us. Without the cables they laid with their hands, our tweets won’t ever be read. Before complaining about the trend, look to see if we are also contributing to this current. Be thankful for instant noodle and instant message. And once in a while, fix something or build something with our hands. We might learn to appreciate our parents that much more.


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