Whispers are heard around the world that society is getting too soft. Whiners are being raised up to just complain about life and not be productive in it. I found myself agreeing more often than not until my daughter challenged my stance on things. I had to question whether or not our society is really becoming too soft.
What Does It Mean to Be Soft?
I think I know what I mean by soft. I think I know what others mean, but are we really on the same page in understanding the word "soft" in describing the youngers generations of today? I don't think so. So I began investigating what others mean.
An article in the Capital Gazette describes the current young generation as soft because "the time-honored virtues of honesty, hard work, independence, self-sufficiency and even sacrifice for others are rarely being taught or mentioned anymore." (https://www.capitalgazette.com/lifestyles/ph-ac-cl-smith-0511-20160511-story.html) This author sees the soft generation not having the values that previous generations have been brought up with. They are missing something others see as vital too succeed in the world. I want to note here that when I say "succeed" I don't necessarily mean fame and fortune. I mean survival.
Then there was the article where an actual person from the "soft" generation spoke out about why they are the soft generation. In this piece, they note the following reasons society has become soft:
- Society is spoon fed everything
- Recognition is valued above most things
- Little work for large rewards are expected
- Unable to take constructive criticism
- Sense of entitlement
- Seek easy ways out
- Discouraged easily
The article goes more in depth and I encourage you reading it at https://www.elitedaily.com/life/the-10-reasons-why-generation-y-is-soft. But it is interesting to read a Y-gen writing about how soft society has become and why.
So soft can mean that values and strength are missing.
Today Versus Two Generations Ago
Each generation has a different character about it, and each generation views itself with unique eyes. Most see the Millenniums and Gen Z as the young generations stepping out into the world as adults and directing much of our society changes.
If those are the generations of today, that means the Baby Boomers and the Gen X generations are the ones from two levels ago. The Baby Boomers were seen as success driven individuals who learned hard work from their parents who had to face many trials during World War II. Gen X was the generation who had advantage of technology advances in their teens and young adulthood that made their lives easier.
Baby Boomers were driven to success. Gen X was driven to use the products of those Baby Boomers. Millenniums and Gen Z are seen as sitting back and demanding that everything come to them on a silver platter.
I'm not saying that is a fact about the younger generations, but that is how they have been viewed. Why? From my personal experience, it is because most of those generations I have worked with refuse to get a job done unless there is an easy, electronic way to do it. They refuse to use a pen and paper if the computers are down. When computer systems aren't working, they go home.
Again, not all from those generations act like that, but enough do to give them a reputation in the eyes of the two generations before them. Work is viewed differently. Family is viewed differently. The world is viewed differently.
Both sides have strong opinions. The younger generations of today think they are perfecting their world. The older generations see them as ruining their future. Can we get a truly unbiased view?
Every generation has its unique qualities. Those qualities come from the society they are born and raised in. The young ones today are used to getting information immediately and having money moved from one account to another within seconds. What used to be only in science fiction movies for their parents and grandparents is reality for them every single day. They are used to getting things much easier than the previous generations did. Does that make them bad?
That can be a debatable question, but the older generations created the world the younger ones have grown up. They created the expectations for their children and grandchildren.
So, are the younger generations getting too soft? Yes, but set them up to be soft.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2021:
Technology has changed much of society and expectations of life. Hopefully, as we move forward, it will all be put to good use by the younger generations.