I realise I don’t count. Brought up outside town I was driving tractors at the age of eight. At the age of fifteen I just walked out of a whole class detention at 3:45pm precisely explaining that some of us had work to do. I’d promised my father I’d start milking because he needed to go to a farm sale to try and buy something. So I courteously told the teacher that if this was a problem they’d have to take it up with him. (They never did.)
But something is going wrong.
Let’s get one thing straight here. It’s not the kids that are going wrong. They only know the way they were brought up. So what are the parents doing wrong?
And how exactly did the grandparent generation screw up to produce the parents?
I was reading a post somebody had made on their facebook page which, thanks to the wonder of algorithms, turned up on my wall. Effectively what had happened is that he’d gone to the Britain First (or some other such facebook group he found nasty and unpleasant.) When you go to a new group, facebook tell you which of your friends liked the group. He’d discovered that he’d several ‘facebook friends’ who were in the group so he immediately unfriended them.
And then proceeded to brag, virtuously, about his deed.
So out of curiosity I went to the same group, and lo, it was true. There was a list of my ‘facebook friends’ who’d liked the group. I looked at the list, nodded and moved on.
Then below his post I commented that, yes, I’d done the same. He immediately replied with, “Did you ‘unfriend them.’
To which I replied, ‘No, they’re real people, I know them in the real world.”
I did. They were decent young men. The sort of lads who, if they found you’d dropped your wallet, would have raced after you to hand it back. They’re in work and they’re hard working. Some of them are in retail, putting up with a lot of gobby crap from people of their parent’s generation who’ll complain about them without even raising their eyes from their phones as they do it.
These are the ones who’ll be working to contribute towards my state pension should the government ever deign to pay me one. They’re the ones we send to unpleasant parts of the world to die because some muppet in Westminster feels the urge to ‘send out a message.’ I’m not sure any more of how many friends I have with PTSD!
But anyway, just a thought; if you want people to respect you, how about being worthy of respect?
At this point I’ll normally try and sell you a book. But you know what. Somehow I just haven’t got it in me. If you want to do me a favour, when you’re in the coffee shop or supermarket or whatever, just put your phone away and chat pleasantly with the young person who’s serving you. Show them how a proper adult behaves.