Saturday, December 10, 2005

Is it really that bad?

Well, according to a survey of historians, no. Quite frankly, I'm very inclined to agree with them.

Think about the last 100 years and the events that this country has been through, from the Great Depression to the Watts riots, from World War 1 to MAD, all of which have been times of much greater chaos and pain than the current era. Yes, the attacks of 9/11 are one of the most important and tragic events in our history, but is this era we are living in really worse off than the many of the generations before it? Certainly not.

However, a case can be made that this generation has viewed more chaos than any generation before it. Live on television, this group has witnessed the devastation of the World Trade Center, the War in Iraq, the liberation of Afghanistan, and a multitude of domestic ills that make the country seem on the brink of devastation. Throw in the partisan idiocy that permeates our government, and there seems to be no order at all.

That presents an interesting problem with today's youth, who have been pampered and babied more than any other generation in history. With this lack of preparation and mental toughness, any small crisis to them is going to seem like an apocyliptic event. Whatever way you want to spin it, the War in Iraq is not an apocyliptic event. It may have gigantic consequences that could lead to a massive event (ie: if we leave, a regional war ensues), but the war itself is far from Vietnam, Korea, or either World Wars. It is the job of teachers, especially Social Science teachers, to point this out to students. If we don't give them a fair assessment of the world of the past compared to our own time, we simply engorge this sense of fear and apprehension, keeping them unprepared for the global issues ahead.
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