We are all born with small brains. But the good news is that brains grow.
We come into this world, quite frankly, ignorant in the truest sense of the world–some might say “stupid”–and spend the rest of our lives acquiring knowledge and wisdom in the hopes of, at the very least, mitigating this stupidity.
There is nothing wrong with being young. Yet here in America we have this weird obsession with youth.
I can be tough on Millennials, but I also have a fair bit of sympathy for them.
To be fair, I should say “us,” as according to most cut-offs, I am also a member of this generation, being born in 1981 (although some people who study this sort of thing put the cut-off at 1982).
The interesting thing about Millennials is that the exaltation and, indeed, worship of youth is relatively new in history.
Youth Over All
There is nothing wrong with being young. We were all young once, and it is fun to be energetic, vigorous, free from responsibility, dreaming big dreams and beholden to no one except maybe your parents. The young do see things differently, unconstrained by past precedents or logical fallacies that hold many of the rest of us back.
But this is in large part because of their relative ignorance and inexperience. These are not necessarily things that should be celebrated.
Youth should be spent trying to pave the way for adulthood, not remain in a perpetual state of adolescence.
I am 35. I know a hell of a lot more than I did when I was 15, or 20, or even 25. However, when I am 70, I will look back at my 35-year-old self and say, “what an idiot!”
I have a hypothesis about why this youth-obsession is so prevalent, so powerful: The young are easy to indoctrinate and manipulate.
And they are, as my friend Rawle Nyanzi puts it, a captive audience.
A large part of this is the cynical desire to sell stuff to young and create lifelong customers who will induce their parents to spend money on their behalf until they are ready to spend their own.
But our youth-obsession goes beyond trying to make a buck. We tend to see everything “young” as “good” and “old” as “bad,” without thinking about the actual issues critically. What’s worse than adults doing this is the fact that the young do it themselves. Don’t believe me? Check out the reactions to two elections that occurred in 2016:
- Brexit. Our friends across the pond voted to leave the EU. The Remain vote was heavily concentrated in cities, the Leave vote in more rural areas. There was also a young-versus-old age gap. How many hysterical did we see by the young for the “old people vote” to be nullified, or the “elderly”–that is, anyone over 35 or maybe 40–disenfranchised?
- The U.S. Presidential election. Here in the States, we’re being shown election maps of “what if only Millennials voted?” showing a unanimous Hillary Clinton victory. This has been coupled with bloodthirsty hopes that all old, and usually white, people will literally die (and some are trying their damndest to make this happen).
This is pretty genocidal, to say the least. But it goes to show that the indoctrination is working.
Everyone is indoctrinated, and everybody advocates for indoctrination. Everyone.
When you educate somebody to have good manners, or to respect their family name, you are indoctrinating them. If you are religious, you are indoctrinating your children into a religious worldview. Patriotism, love of country, military service and respect for it, these are all things that are indoctrinated.
The idea all societies have, from the primitive to the highly advanced, is to indoctrinate children with things that are good for society, and to recognize those that are bad. Continue reading “Get Them While They’re Young: Youth Obsession and Indoctrination”