In a previous blog I wrote that it was ridiculous to have more babies so that in time they could look after the older generation. I suggested that it would be more cost-effective to encourage immigration of adults, rather than waste precious resources on educating children and teenagers.
In support of my view is the result of a 24 year study of college students at San Diego State University in the U.S
Day to Day, February 27, 2007 · College students today are more narcissistic and self-centered than a generation ago, according to a study released by San Diego State University. Students’ scores on the study’s Narcissistic Personality Inventory have steadily risen since the test was introduced in 1982.
In their study, researchers trace the phenomenon back to the “self-esteem movement” that began in in the 1980s. And, they say, young people’s self-regard is fueled by current technologies such as MySpace and YouTube.
Study psychologists worry the trend, attributable to the influences of schools, media and parents, could be harmful to personal relationships and American society. The study says narcissists are more likely to have short-lived romantic relationships and lack empathy.
So if we are expecting the young to care for us, then we are destined to be sadly disappointed.
Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have children. I have heard that there are some people who actually like having children and that is fine, but to suggest that we should have children because we will have to depend on them and their labour in later years, is asking for trouble.
There is a sinister element in the warning by demographers that our population is aging. Creating a work force through reproduction borders on Eugenics and I have serious misgivings about it, because Nature is a fickle fiend.
We may be trying to prepare for the future but one only has to observe what is happening in China to see where future problems will develop.
Imagine how the poor Chinese people, who have produced the little Emperors in the one-child per couple experiment, will feel, when their sweet darlings will rather go shopping than care for mum and dad.
In one sense, lots of shopping is good, because we will need to produce more and spend more to create a a society which can afford to care for the aging population financially.
But there is another form of caring, which cannot be measured in dollars and that involves giving of oneself and being sympathetic to other members of society, including the elderly. I fear that it is in that important definition of caring that the young will be found wanting. In other words, there is a difference between providing for and caring. Whereas the elderly may be provided for in economic terms, it is doubtful that the youth will give a damn.
By comparison, though, those lipophilic Chinese brats will make our Western offsprings look like altruistic tambourine-banging Salvation army officers.
Now I don’t blame the Chinese parents for having created a nation of narcissists. China’s birth rate was extremely high and something had to be done, but the end result of restricted reproduction was that parents “put all their egg in one basket” and there was only one child to be indulged. It was inevitable that these little Emperors would be spoilt.
As for Western children, it seems as if self-discipline was not encouraged by parents who were caught up in the upwardly mobile trend of the Eighties. It is very hard to say “no” to children when you have the resources to buy them everything they want. Let’s face it, the Eighties was not a period of austerity and the acquisitive trend appears to be continuing.
Consequently, if children of the “me generation” are now imitating their self-indulgent parents, it is no surprise that today’s young people are self-absorbed and couldn’t give a hoot about other people. They have had excellent mentors.