Generations different, not better

9-6-guest-columnWere previous generations of Americans superior to our generation?

My curiosity in answering this question arose after an older friend said, “They don’t make them like they used to.”

He believes the American youth of today is inferior to his generation that grew up in the 1950s and ‘60s.

I thought his opinion was flawed for one reason: The older generation of Americans raised the youth of today; consequently, a large portion of the blame would fall on the people who reared them.

But I looked beyond this oversight, and finally unearthed the answer after a conversation with my mentor, and new member to the Clovis community, Bill Barry.

He used an analogy to compare the older generation of Americans to a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air: They’re tough, reliable, and use their humongous size to withstand a crash. The downside is they’re technologically inferior to newer cars.

The current generation of Americans is like a Toyota Prius: technologically savvy, highly efficient and employs modern inventions to survive a crash. But it doesn’t possess the old-school toughness of a classic car.

“Neither one is superior” he explained, “Both have advantages and disadvantages. They’re just different.”

Using his analogy, they don’t make the American youth like they used to — they just make them different.

Every generation is a product of its culture, society, and technological norms.

Today’s American youth might challenge authority, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. From our rebellious beginning in the Boston harbor, to the tumultuous years of the Civil War, and through the violent decades of the civil rights movement it’s been a part of our country’s heritage to challenge authority — I believe it’s one of our finest traits.

If nobody had, we would all drink tea instead of coffee, and be fighting to overcome the racial and gender stereotypes that marred our country’s history.

Kitsana Dounglomchan, an 11-year Air Force veteran, writes about his life and times for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

Speak Your Mind