Our grandchildren are wonderful, aren’t they? They are bright, funny, kind and just great fun to be around, but one thing that has struck me lately is that despite all the achievements in the youngest generations’ lives, they can’t seem to put things together.
No, not put two and two together – they’re great at Maths – I mean, they just don’t seem to want to physical make anything or build something, for the most part. I have a friend with a wonderfully talented granddaughter who adores DIY and making old into new, but the other young people I know do not have the slightest idea of how to change a lightbulb (I’m serious). Are they Generation Lazy? Or are they just too interested in their phones to care?
A few years ago, I saw a series called An Idiot Abroad, starring comedian Ricky Gervais’ protege Karl Pilkington. He was a simple man, and often described as a real life Homer Simpson. He also had some quite funny observations about children. When he saw children in a fishing village in Indonesia, he was quite pleased to see that they were being useful and spearing fish. He worried that he would find his own child useless unless they could offer something. That’s obviously a joke but do you think he sort of has a point? They’ve got two arms and two legs, can’t they try and help themselves and others?
On a serious note, do you remember when you were younger and you made a billy cart with your brothers and sisters? Perhaps even with your dad? It was best feeling to make something with your own hands, to be proud of what you had made. Do you think that joy is lost on the technology-obsessed generation?
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I remember my grandfather and my dad got together and made me a wonderful cubby house in our backyard and it was just marvellous. My Pa was also a jeweller and a mechanic – they were some very full on trades, albeit very different. Nowadays you see Gen Y-ers who have this grandiose jobs but they don’t have those real skills, those hands-on skills that are really useful and important in life. Don’t you agree? Instead of doing it themselves, 20-somethings are more inclined to download an app that sources a person who can instead. And don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of handy Gen Y-ers out there – in fact blue collar workers are getting paid more than a white collar worker.
I wonder if the younger generations will ever know that feeling of making something you’re truly proud of with their own hands, like we did.
What do you think? Do you think the younger generations should be more hands-on? Did you used to make things with your mum or dad growing up?