~ I was sitting at coffee yesterday and the couple sitting next to me were having a loud discussion, the people at the other side of the coffee shop kept looking over because even they could hear the conversation.
Apparently, the nineteen year old couple were living together in the parents basement of the young woman, and they wanted to move out and get their own place. The source of their tension was that the young man wanted to get a more expensive apartment then they could afford.
“I only make $12 an hour and if we get a place the place near the lake that costs $950 that’s half the amount of money I make in a month!” the young woman must have said no less than twenty times in the hour long argument that ensued.
The young man had little to no conception of money and the cost of life; he was unemployed and going by what the young woman said, he didn’t seem to be looking for a job either,
“Ya know, if you just went out and got a job then we could afford the nicer place” she said
“You know that I refuse to be a slave to the corporations, I’m not going to be a sell out” he said.
I wish I was making this up, but the cliches that kept coming of the young man’s mouth were making my eyes roll. Apparently he was fine living in the basement of his girlfriend’s parents house, and he was also fine having his girlfriend work for the evil corporations and pay all his bills…..but for him to get off his butt and work, well that meant he was being a sell out.
Sadly, that young man represents quite a few men in Western Culture. For every guy that is willing to work, there are a lot of young men that want to live the easy life and not get their hands dirty.
I’m not sure what happened in the 1990’s and 2000’s but this new segment of young men we’ve raised is unlike any of the previous generations. How did we get millions of young men in their teens and twenties who are so disconnected from it means to live in the real world?
I often wonder what impact the President of the United States made on our culture when he redefined sex; “I did not have sex with that woman…..” he told us. Perhaps in that moment, the President of one of the most important nations on the earth influenced all the young men everywhere to take a more relativistic attitude toward life; “sex is not sex, work is not work, all that matters is that I’m happy“. At some point we need to take responsibility for our lives, but then again, if the President of the United States won’t take responsibility, then maybe that is a precedent set for all the young men of our culture.
Rarely a week goes by that I don’t meet or hear of a woman who is raising children, keeping house, and working a forty hour a week job. In parts of Latin America it has grown to epidemic levels; single women are being forced to raise families on their own because the men are shirking their responsibilities.
Here in the States, it seems like we are headed to a similar destination; a world where the women do all the work, raise the children, pay the bills, and a culture of young men who sit around and smoke pot while they play video games.
Of course I’m making a pretty broad generalization, but recent articles on the topic of single men are starting to become regular fare for well respected news organizations, take for instance “Where Have all the Good Men Gone?” by the Wall Street Journal, or this article by the Washington Post echo a similar theme; young single men are less likely to be interested in taking on serious responsibilities.
Has our culture “enabled” too many young men to loaf around? Has our culture ignored the education of young men? It is hard to say what the exact problem is, issues like this often leave me with more questions than answers….thank god for coffee, I think I’ll have another cup,