I mean not to offend, but what's up with kids these days? Granted, similar words have been spoken about other generations perhaps. But am I alone or does this downward spiral seem more apparent today than in the past?
Listen to their music. Loud, often racy and universally without a melody that makes you want to whistle along with the latest top 40. The musicians look equally unkempt and their lifestyles make them anything but a role model - that newfangled term we give to our modern-day heroes. But the decay in our social structure goes far beyond radio tunes.
Look at the way kids dress today. It makes you yearn for school uniforms. What passes as youth fashion is a weak attempt to create a look that is exactly the opposite of all they have been taught. You want to question when the last time these youngsters have had a decent bath. But you probably don't want to know the answer.
If you listen to education experts you'll also learn that test scores for kids today are dropping at a dramatic rate. Reading, writing and 'rthmatic are no longer a staple of daily class lessons. And as a result, many other countries are now outdistancing the United States on educational test scores.
And finally, there's the topics of drug use by our nation's teenagers. This new experience is something that will surely plague us for years to come unless we get a grasp on it immediately. A generation of drug users will not bode well for our country's future.
As with many other issues, all is not lost. This nation's youngsters are still the best equipped to address the challenges of a changing world. They still possess an insatiable thirst for knowledge. But it will take one other change in society to correct this recent path. It will take parents who care about their kids, who care about their homework, who care what they wear and with whom they associate. It will take parents who monitor television, fashion and social activities - not in an attempt to control their children but in an attempt to exert a positive influence.
All hope is certainly not lost on today's younger generation. Not by a long stretch. But it will take the combined efforts of all those who impact a child's life to return America to the promise that has long formed the foundation of our nation
(The preceding was written in 1964. Yet it in some ways applies the same today as it did 40 years ago. Had we a crystal ball back then, perhaps the landscape of America would be different today. But as the message says, it still takes the very same influences to impact the lives of youngsters today as it did back then.)