Two statements from Jonathan Reed’s poem “Lost Generation” (when read forwards, not backwards) really struck a chord with me:
“Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era”
“In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth”
I couldn’t agree more with the former stanza if I tried.
It’s always pleasant- and shocking, when I meet someone whose biological parents are still happily married. But more often than not, I come across people from broken homes (i.e. parents who never married [70% of African American babies, and about 40% of Caucasian babies are born out-of-wedlock], divorced parents, foster parents, live-in boyfriends/girlfriends, stepparents, single parents, no parents/guardians [they’re physically and/or emotionally removed], adoptive parents, etc).
Admittedly, “broken homes” is a very subjective term, and plenty of children are content living in any of the aforementioned lifestyles. The reason why I am choosing to use such a banal saying, is that most of the people I know who live in an untraditional family, per say (or have no family), are unhappy. They don’t always make their melancholy blatantly known, but it ends up showing through in other ways (such as making poor decisions [regarding drugs, alcohol,… you name it], and/or they develop a misanthropic outlook on people and a cynical one on life in general).
The latter excerpt, in reference to the environment, is baffling, for I’ve never seen, heard, or read about a generation more concerned about the environment than us.
“Environmental destruction will be the norm?” What? If my peers and I didn’t care about the earth, Shen High School wouldn’t have the Environment Club, offer an Environmental Science course, or recycle for that matter!
From a broader perspective, one of the major issues in our government and politics is what to do about the environment (such as sources of alternative energy [like solar panels and windmills], off-shore drilling, natural gas, and battery, water, and oil operated automobiles).
How about when one walks into a grocery or convenience store? There is no escaping all of the “Go Green” and “Environmentally Safe” products that line the shelves.
Television is another means by which being “Environmentally Friendly” is promoted. I can think of a few channels specifically: HGTV and DIY suggest tips on how to make one’s home “Green,” Disney Channel and Nickelodeon encourage kids to take part in preserving nature and helping out around their community, and MSNBC and CNBC support the Obama Administration’s environmental mandates.
Moreover, to say that people my age (and the rest of the population) lack the desire to respect the earth, seems inconsiderate to me.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, today’s “Lost Generation” cares more about saving the environment than they do about preserving family values.