As you know, if you have had the opportunity to “enrich” your days reading my blog (OK, at least if not enrich, occupy your days if you’ve not much else to do) teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) is what brings me a needed income on a regular basis.
A student who is fast becoming a friend comes from one of the Cono Sur Countries. “Cono Sur” refers to those countries which sit at the far southern end of South America. Usually, after we finish the class, we take a few minutes over whatever is left of the coffee, and converse in Spanish, since it is still an easier venue for him.
We talk about how it used to be like for him growing up in his native country, as opposed to what it is like for his own children growing up here. What he sees as an erosion of traditional values and discipline, aided by the advent of the cell phone and/or computer and the consequences of the instant social communication. He acknowledges that it is more difficult for a parent to be aware of all that is going on, when most parents don’t have but a beginner’s concept of the management of all these new avenues of communication which, to their children, are an extension of their hands, arms, and brains.
As it is, every new generation comes with its own ideas and plans. Or so they should. It is life’s own way of re-generating itself, in a constant trial and error process. Many of us forget that, in our own time and place, we did the same and thought differently than those who came before us. Except perhaps that circumstances were not as drastic or as communicative as they are today. When we look at the mew young minds, we tend to notice that which is contrary to our ways and call it a negative. Yet, there is much to be lauded in what our younger generation will bring to the table.
That very availability of an instant contact, of being able to express ideas to a much broader audience that we were able to reach in our own time, makes these changes more noticeable and perhaps, more effective. There is little for us to do (except for those who insist on having all control and power) other than to sit back and hope that from all that we passed on to these young minds, they will be able to gleam the good and the positive and leave the gloom and negative behind. Indeed, for we have given ample examples of both.
I have faith in the future and in the new generation that is coming. I do realize that mistakes will be made and some of these will be very costly, as all mistakes can be. These young minds have shown that, along with some who will do their best to take advantage of any given situation for their own personal gain, there will be others who will create good and who will follow their ideals to improve life and the world in which we all live. And this has been the mark of all generations.
Just remember that each coin really has two sides. And each side has its own beauty and its own ugliness. All we can hope as the generation that is passing the baton, is that we have done a good enough job so those who come behind us, while making their own mistakes, will be able to discern the good and bad. And make the appropriate choices in shaping the world they will, in time, pass on to a younger generation I am sure will be thought of as inefficient and wrong. And life will go on.
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