"Back in my day…
we didn't have this problem."
How many times have you heard, or have even said, the above quote or something of the like?
So many times we hear or speak of the many new issues that this "younger generation" has in "today's society": nicotine addictions beginning in middle school, extremely vulgar music, disrespectfulness, and so forth. Because of these issues, many of our older individuals who grew up in a different era make claims that the earlier generations are superior to the more recent ones. These claims are broken down into further statements and incorrect generalizations, such as how today's kids aren't raised right, people aren't as respectful as they used to be, things aren't how they were in the earlier years, and so forth.
However, in making such claims, people overlook one very important truth that dismantles their entire argument: every generation has its own issues.
While social media addiction and drug abuse by minors weren't issues in the previous century, times like the 1940s dealt with things such as racial segregation and the prohibition of voting based on race and gender. In today's era, we no longer live in a place where segregation and voting discrimination exist; however, we have adopted new issues like heavy media reliance, gang violence, and school shootings.
Every generation deals with its own problems, and future generations will continue to overcome current problems and inherit new issues. That being said, there never has been and never will be a "perfect generation" or a "perfect time period." Because of mankind's natural inclination to sin and deviate from order, there will always be problems taunting each generation for as long as we live on planet Earth.
I ask you: how can we say that one generation is superior to another when each has its own problems? Times change and will continue to do so – and as time changes and society evolves, so will the world's problems. Thus, older generations should stop criticizing "this generation" for its troubles, as they indeed had troubles of their own during their time; and furthermore, our generation should not criticize the problems of prior eras and instead learn and grow from them.
No generation or time period, as a whole, is superior to another: we are all a part of one adapting and changing universe – one that is always subject to distress but is also open to positive change. But such change is only hindered by negativity and a heavy focus on the past. Instead of putting down different generations, what if society aims to continue to grow instead?