Who You Callin’ Lazy?

“I’m super lazy today. Which is similar to normal lazy but today I’m also wearing a cape.”

That was my Facebook status update yesterday. Coincidentally, it was also the same day I read a blog my friend Kim Shimer had posted about an article she read in Philadelphia Magazine. The writer of the article, and chairman of the magazine, D. Herbert Lipson had a field day bashing today’s youth as being lazy and unmotivated.

Please take a minute to read Kim’s blog here.

Kim has her own thoughts on the subject with excellent examples to the contrary of “D Herb’s” thesis. I thought long and hard about commenting on her blog but in the end decided to post my own thoughts and comments here.

Several points D Herb make ring true to me. The most obvious one being where he states that college students would be more interested in “general” studies like psychology rather than math and engineering because the latter two subjects are something today’s youth has no interest in and I’d have to agree. I’d much rather try to figure out why it is that the smell of bacon causes me to salivate instead of just sitting there solving equations.

But more to the point: D Herb suggests that our youth is having too much fun growing up and not doing enough “hard work” and offers his own solution:

“They’d be much better off getting prepared for the real world instead of having a childhood of fun and games.”

Beg pardon, but a certain computer geek named Mark Zuckerberg created a billion dollar company called Facebook which next year will go public. Created by a dork who was having “fun”. Oddly enough D Herb’s family owned Philadelphia Magazine has its own Facebook page.

As far as “fun and games” go I honestly think childhood should contain more. But not a free-for-all one where kids can play mindless video games and watch TV for hours. One that’s structured with group activities and things that provide social interaction.

My daughter currently attends dance classes twice a week, plays softball during the spring and summer months complete with hitting clinics and is also involved with band, chorus, student council and the newspaper at school. In addition to her studies I believe that when she graduates she will be well-rounded enough to pursue whatever it is she wants to become.

As for me, I actually lament the fact that my childhood didn’t contain more. I would have loved for my parents to have forced summer camp on me with the other kids, or been a part of the camaraderie as a member of the football team in high school. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until my senior year that I got involved in any of that childhood group involvement (concert choir, jazz band, school play) and by then the feeling of belonging was short-lived. Looking back now I still think about what I missed out on rather than what I obtained working at McDonalds after school.

Being the best parents we can be is what’s really important. Teaching our kids what’s right and wrong, making them well-rounded individuals and showing them that nothing in life is free. As long as love is involved I think we’ll all turn out ok.

So while I agree that kids need to be taught early on that hard work pays off it shouldn’t come at the expense of enjoying something they only get one of – childhood.

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