Youth should show respect for what?

Let's face it, we suck.

We are selfish. We want everything without doing anything.

Many of us spend the majority of our free time with our eyes glued to a screen, mind-numbingly scrolling the internet or texting meaningless banter to our friends.

We are preoccupied with technology that tricks us into feeling a sense of achievement for nothing.

You hear parents crying: ''Who's to blame for this generation of lazy good-for-nothings?''Well, I'm going to write the most in-depth excuse you have ever read, to explain why my generation are a bunch of disrespectful brats.

I am going to attempt to shift all the blame on to generations before us that built this byzantine capitalist society that we were born into.

My generation is about to inherit problems that we didn't create.

We were born into a capitalist society that is driven by the relentless pursuit of efficiency.

So strong is this drive that the generations before us were so self-absorbed with trying to improve their lifestyle that the side effects were ignored.

You used to be able to enter a company and climb the corporate ladder.

Now, many people enter a job and find themselves stuck because the other jobs are too specialised.

For example, computers have improved areas of our lifestyle dramatically. But there was a time where you may have been able to understand the circuit boards in your home electronics and fix any problems that may occur.

Nowadays, circuit boards are so small and complex that it is often cheaper just to chuck them out and buy a new one than pay to get it fixed.

If you pop the hood of a modern car, it most likely has large parts encased with plastic to stop you from fiddling with the complex fuel-injection systems.

Most of the systems in our daily lives are so complex, there is no way we could completely understand them all.

We rely on so many different people just to get by.

We buy our food from a store; our electricity is delivered to us through magical wires and we have a fragile stockmarket no-one completely understands.

I mean, it's a four-year degree just to understand the law that governs our country!

You've brought us into a world that you've lost control of!

We hear selfish, ignorant statements like: ''I'll be dead and gone by the time global warming becomes a real issue. I'll let the coming generations sort it out.''

We are given the burden of cleaning up your mess as you teach your kids to live the exact same Earth-degrading lifestyle.

As humans begin to live longer, pensions will become non-existent and the retirement age will practically disappear.

Every person in the workforce will be paying taxes to support the elderly; the opposite of the baby-boomer days.

My generation will have to work harder and longer hours just to support kids that we will hardly get to spend time with.

The gap between the rich and the poor is ever increasing.

Whether we all understand the details or not, we all get the sense of hopelessness - fighting a losing battle against a collapsing system.

We are expected to win a race even though we all start at different points behind the starting line.

No wonder we are lazy and disrespectful.

You've built a system for us that is too complex to understand and is crumbling beneath our feet.


• By Gabe Meikle, Year 13, Waitaki Boys' High School

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