Lance Scranton: Things might be different
Now that all the pomp and circumstance has subsided and the graduates have celebrated their accomplishments, it’s time to look at the issues most of Generation Z (Gen Z) are going to face as they move into adulthood.
Most of Generation Z (born after 1998) have grown up firmly rooted in technology and YouTube. Numbering more than 69 million, Gen Z is fast approaching the majority in our country, and its members have a much different understanding of their country than previous generations.
While Millennials have been accused of being entitled, hyper-sensitive, and narcissistic, Gen Z tends toward being less entitled.
As our youngest generation begins to take its place in society, there a few things I hope they can avoid so as to have the kind of life that will be measured by what they do as opposed to how they feel.
Broken homes, which were a major influence on the lives of Millennials, can be seen throughout our culture. Abandonment issues have serious consequences and can be seen in Millennials’ ideology and political views, where socialism’s promise of belonging seems to be popular.
Education tends toward the more socialist side and the popularity of such things as social justice and political correctness, but Gen Z seems to be catching on to the difference between excusing bad behavior and making excuses for bad behavior.
Spiritualism that is popular, but a Christian culture has taken it on the chin in the lives of Millennials, with most wanting to be part of something larger but wishing to belong to something that doesn’t ask too much of them and can serve their needs, at their convenience. Gen Z seem to understand better the selflessness of service and the rewards of sacrifice.
Safety first that was the calling card of generations before, but Gen Z seems to understand better that a free society and economy require people who have the self-assuredness, self-control and strength of will to fend for themselves. Millennials tended to give themselves over to desires for security and didn’t seem too concerned about losing freedom.
Success makes the material wealth of our nation the envy of most of the rest of the world. Millennials and Gen Z grew up in the comfort of never needing to worry about the basics, and even those considered poor, by our standards, have a quality of life that would be envied by many other countries. Everyone has cellphones, and the stores always have what is needed, but Gen Z seems to be more critical of the consumer society they have been conditioned into.
Maybe broken homes will become fewer, education will get back to the basics, sacrifice will become fashionable again and our youngest generation will realize just how fortunate they are to be living in a first-world country.
But, remembering who we are and where we come from has always been the best determiner of a country’s success.
Here’s to you, Gen Z, as you begin your race toward the future. This old Baby Boomer wishes you all the best!
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.
This week hundreds of teachers from across the United States and Canada are spending five days in Denver to shore up the concepts and importance of Advanced Placement classes in high school. Moffat County High School has been offering these College Board classes for the past five years, which students can begin taking in their freshman year.