Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Generation ME!

Our young, spoiled, narcissistic, shallow Olympians better not be the best we’ve got.

The 1960 musical Bye Bye Birdie yelped “Kids! What’s the matter with kids today?” Back then not much, as a matter of fact. A lot, evidence suggests, nowadays. Torino’s Winter Olympics showed what’s the matter with kids: Many are rude, narcissistic, and spoiled to the gills.

The Olympics once represented the best of America’s best man- and maidenhood. Bob Richards: reverend and decatholoner. Rafer Johnson: sprinter and pioneer. Peggy Flemming: girl next door. Each etched deference, teamwork, and stoic heroism – we, not me…

…How did we plunge from then [sportsmanship in earlier Olympics] to this?

Begin with culture, as toxic as Love Canal. Self-esteem trumps the Golden Rule. Obscenity floods film. Most network television is a horror house. The Wall Street Journal reports: “New network [MY Network TV] Will Showcase Greed, Lust, Sex.” Spineless parents accept this trend; courageous parents don’t.

The National Survey of Families and Households finds children from traditional families less prone to fail in school, use drugs, or become coarse and profane (like today’s Olympians). A University of California at Berkeley survey of middle-class children from age 5 to their early 20s says that discipline helps manners and mores. Raised right, you act right.
If not – well, visit any mall to see the contrast. Teenagers jostle the elderly. Few boys open a door for girls. And girls are too busy dressing like an MTV Video “ho” to notice. Dialogue is a contact sport; English superfluous to profanity. What’s the matter with kids? Gaucherie is their DNA. Recently I called the wife of a national pollster “ma’am”; she reacted like Dracula at the sign of the cross.

Priorities have consequences. Americans in 2006 shout that money rules; ethics are situational; beauty is skin-deep; and humility is for squares. Diogenes sought honesty; we seek designer garb, an iPod, the latest DVD. “Style matters” – depth does not.

Many children are as honest, kind, and moral as children were a decade ago. Many more, I suspect, are not. Tom Brokaw deemed the adults of World War II “the greatest generation.” What if the Winter Olympics reveal a showboating, trash-talking, striving-pathetically-to-be-hip “worst generation” of kids?

Curt Smith
National Review Online


No analysis is really needed here. Just an “attaboy.” The writer rightly points out that children who are raised right, act right. In a society where most parents have abdicated their responsibility to bestow decent values upon their kids, Christian parents must raise their children to be faithful Christians, and honest citizens. Manners, humility, civility… all of these matter.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

It’s a shame that in America, too often people follow the lead of such jerk athletes as Bode Miller or Terrell Owens rather than the Apostle Paul.