Do kids have it easier nowadays than before? I’m sure most of you have heard this from your parents at some point in your life. So what are they really trying to say? Basically, no matter how hard you think you had it, they had it worse. In fact, your struggles don’t count as real struggles. However, is this really true? As a young adult, I still don’t agree with my parents when they try to rub that statement on my face.
Now, there are a couple of things that I agree with them. For instance, they had less “things” while they were growing up. Okay, from a materialistic point of view they might have had less, but is “having more” better? Nowadays, young people in general tend to have more materialistic possessions than their past counterparts and they start getting “things” from a very early age too. It’s not unusual to see a kid with a mobile phone or working with a laptop… some even see these possessions as must-haves, literally… as if the world was going to end in the absence of these devices. As I said before, more is not necessarily better. Yes, it feels nice to possess things (bought or gifted), it’s like instant gratification. Material possessions might facilitate some aspects of our daily lives but it might also arouse our need to possess even more things.
“Mo Money, Mo Problems” once Biggie said, which brings me to my next point. Kids might have more nowadays, but that also means having the rest of world expecting more from them. Why? “Having more” is often equated to “privilege” and privileged people have an obligation to excel. I mean, what excuses do they have to not succeed. Right? Wrong. Society is not something static. Having more materialistic possessions doesn’t mean that we are living better lives. And I’m not talking from a spiritual point of view. Oh no. I’m talking about standards and they have changed. What if someone told you that every single thing that you ever decided to acquire/do was meant to feed the standards of the society that you live in?
The things that are “relevant” to you are probably not the same things that mattered to your parents. What did people yearn for back in the day? Having a family? Having a job? Buying a house? Owning a car? Most people (today) are still yearning for those things but.. the standards have changed. It’s more like:
- I want to start a family… someday. However, I’m not willing to compromise nor making sacrifices to make it happen, because it’s not a priority.
- I want a job… but not just any job, I’m looking for something that can pay the bills, offer a career plan and a sense of professional realization.
- I want a house… but not just any house, I want a nice one. Having a roof under my head is not enough, I need to own an awesome space.
- I want a car… but not just any car, I want a nice one. Having a car solely as a mean of transport is not enough, I need a fancy car to signal my social-status.
Do these demands even make any sense? I don’t know… All I hear is: “not enough”. Having said that, are we asking too much? Is this eternal quest of wanting more and more healthy? Does it make us ambitious or just plain greedy?
At the end of the day, I still don’t think kids have it easier nowadays. They are set from a very early age to be unhappy individuals because of what the world expects from them and what they expect from it. Unless your parents were from the WWI or WWII days, they didn’t have it harder. Think about it.