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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reckless Youth



It's said that the time to take chances is when you are young. Lately I've been seeing these posts from older people who wish they'd taken more chances when they were young.

Baby Boomers look back from positions of security and wonder why Millennials don't take more chances. Here's just one reason: student loans. Hard to be footloose and fancy free at 22 with $100,000 debt. Any small screw ups can set a young person back for life.

Most of the drop out generation dropped back in. It wasn't that hard for the majority of them. The economy was booming. Many had families willing to financially help them get back on the road to respectability. You know who it was hard for? Kids from poor families with minimal education.

I remember there were plenty of solid reasons for being careful when I was young. As a kid from a blue collar background I knew I had to play my cards right to acquire the things of adulthood: a wife, children, a car, and a house. Financially there wasn't a lot of wiggle room for mistakes. Sure I could have hiked the Appalachian trail or gone on an extended wilderness canoe trip, but I chose responsibilities instead. No regrets.

There are young people today more than willing to shoulder the responsibilities of adulthood but lack the resources to make it happen. Often the path of least resistance is sort of an extended adolescence. The big milestones are out of reach so might as well find pleasure in other things. At the very least, the pleasures of full adulthood are postponed if not denied completely.

Older folks say they wish they took more chances when they were young. Maybe they should have, but what's to keep them from taking chances now? Personally, I am in a better position to take risks now that my children are grown and on their own.

The last thing I'm going to do is to criticize younger people for making the decisions they are making. I assume they have pressures I don't fully understand. Encouraging Millennials to take risks may just be some sort of elder angst. They wish to live vicariously and make up for their cautious youth.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. Just living is taking a great chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed it is, but it beats the alternative.

      Delete
  2. Hi Six Bears,
    "Drive fast, take chances," a small farewell saying from ol' "Dirty Ed." He took a lot of "Chances,,,," ended up dying in his sleep.
    Oh well.....
    BSBD,
    III%,
    skybill-out

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Six Bears,
    "Drive fast, take chances," a small farewell saying from ol' "Dirty Ed." He took a lot of "Chances,,,," ended up dying in his sleep.
    Oh well.....
    BSBD,
    III%,
    skybill-out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like that old joke: I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not yelling and screaming like the other people in the car he was driving.

      Delete
  4. I look back on some of the risky things I did when young and am thankful I survived.

    ReplyDelete