Post-Easter each year I wrap up my belongings in a red and white polka dot handkerchief on the end of a stick and head to the city to visit my dear old parents.
The public transport system is more abundant in the city than in my neck of the woods and considerably more punctual; but it comes at a price: travelling teenagers.
They're on holidays this time of year too.
I like to read as I travel rather than look out the window, but I don't get much reading done when teenagers are sharing my ride that they've only paid half the price for seven times the noise.
I asked a teenage girl once if she could please turn down her music. She replied: "I'll turn down my music when you turn down your face."
What a thing to say to a Tom Cruise lookalike! I shudder to think what she'd have said to a man of more modest looks.
I was tempted to create my own music and start singing "Kids" from the 1960 musical Bye Bye Birdie:
"Why can't they be like we were?
Perfect in every way
What's the matter with kids today?!"
How rude this teenager was, and on public transport .... until I remember that a bus driver had to confiscate my bus pass for bad behaviour when I was 16.
I go to the gym religiously almost every couple of years, so I was quite offended a long while back when a gang of youths at my local gym spent more time loudly talking and laughing than exercising.
Never in history have the youth been as inconsiderate as they are today .... until I read Socrates' words circa 470 B.C: "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise."
He didn't stop there.
Even the great Socrates claimed: "Children are now tyrants... They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."
I despair about how lazy today's kids are.... until I remember how my father used to tell me as a boy: "You wouldn't work in an iron lung!"
I'd muse: "Well, I wouldn't need to."
I think the thing we get wrong most about the youth of today is the error we repeat the most: the youth of today are privileged.
I think the thing we get wrong most about the youth of today is the error we repeat the most: the youth of today are privileged. Perhaps nothing is further from the truth.
Perhaps nothing is further from the truth.
While we were sheltered from many of the harsher facts of life until we were older and more able to grapple with them, the young today are thrown into domestics and given intelligence they are not ready for, thus cutting their youthful innocence short.
Some of those young people will spend the rest of their life trying to get that innocence back.
This is not a privilege.
In time, this becomes a burden.
Many youth are forced to grow up in single-parent homes at a rate never seen before outside of war.
The children almost always domicile with their mother who feels forced to work and is often too tired to give the parental guidance she would like to.
In a real sense, the current situation of family break-up is worse than war.
When your father dies through accident, sickness or war he dies a hero and you are proud of him as your mother tells you stories, perhaps a little embellished, of how wonderful he was.
However, many youth today hear the worst stories, perhaps a little embellished too, about what a horrible man their father is and it comes from the trusted lips of their mother.
Even the mothers who don't play this card are often reluctantly biased against their children's father.
Many fathers have responded in kind against these mothers and I can only imagine how difficult this must become for the youth of today.
How can any of this be considered a life of privilege?
If by chance any youth today does act as if they are privileged, can we really blame them?
In reality, the youth of today are being robbed of so many of the basics of life that past generations took for granted.
- Twitter: @frbrendanelee