As a parent, I approached Elizabeth Kolbert's excellent article in the New Yorker about spoiled children with a reasonable degree of trepidation. I mean, who wants to read more about the awful failure of our generation to produce kids who are as perfect as we were?
Like all of Ms. Kolbert's articles, this one was lucid, entertaining, and frightening. About halfway though, however, I had the distinct feeling that I was trapped in an echo chamber, or perhaps a hall of mirrors. Older generations always find fault with the habits of younger generations, and the Baby Boomers are no different in this respect. What's odd is how we've blamed ourselves for the alleged flaws and shortcomings exibited by our children as they face one of the most difficult periods of social transformation since the Industrial Revolution.
People are going to look back at the early 21st century and wonder how anyone kept their head screwed on straight. I have complete faith in the ability of my children and their pals to negotiate the twists and turns of whatever lies ahead. And I have no doubt that the future will be difficult and dangerous because that's the nature of the future. The past is always less dangerous because it's dead and buried.
I counsel my children to enjoy the present, seize the day, and cherish the moment. I also advise them to follow the timeless motto of the Boy Scouts: "Be prepared."