I was listening to some of the Pope’s speech this morning, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of old talking heads on Fox News, complaining about the “kids these days.” Pope Francis complained about the so-called consumerism of today’s culture, and apparent selfishness of kids obsessed with getting Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers (it was actually quite funny, listening to him speak in Spanish without a translation, and how he used these terms). But here’s the truth: today’s kids, supposedly obsessed with themselves and social media, are in better shape than ever. They give more to charity than kids of past generations, they’re more politically active. Teen drug-use, pregnancy, STDs, and smoking are all at historic lows.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that old people are always complaining about the “kids these days.” There is a famous quote of one such complaint that sounds amazingly current … until you realize it’s from Socrates, 2500 years ago. Enough is enough! Things are changing fast, culture is evolving. But different is not worse. In fact, it’s almost always better.