by Eric Santillan
The generation who are in grade school and high school now have been called many names. But the name that has stuck is the Generation of Wimps. That is because this generation is more pampered and spoiled than the previous ones. Because of the media and research about the importance of high self-esteem and happiness, they are “victims” of a phenomenon called over-parenting or helicopter parenting. This is characterised by parents who “hover” over their kids (like helicopters) and “take their child’s perception as truth, regardless of the facts,” and are “quick to believe their child over adults and deny the possibility that their child was at fault.” When they do badly in school for example, their parents fight their teachers. My generation rarely experienced our parents taking our side in school problems. But this seems to be de riguoer in this one.
In the guise of happiness and “protection”, they are usually not allowed to play outside and get dirty. And whenever they play games, they’re told they’re all winners (even if they lose) and everyone gets a trophy or a star. They’re protected from hurt and crying. Their parents petitioned to have games like dodge ball removed from their Physical Education classes because these games are “brutal”.
But no matter how pampered they are now, they will go into the real world with all its attendant misery, where people win and lose, and not everyone gets stars and trophies, but insults and abuse in equal measure. Will they have the skills to improve or battle a system that can eat them up the way it did previous generations? Whereas previous generations put a premium on IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient), AQ (Adversity Quotient) is probably even more important nowadays. Will they have the resilience to battle adversity? I have been quiet about the whole suicide-in-UP thing out of respect for the dead. We can put the University of the Philippines and the whole educational system to task and make it about high tuition fees. The alternative–but equally valid–view is low AQ. Or family problems.
Generations X and Y are going to vote in a few days time. And the Generation of Wimps will be looking at us for affirmation that our choices still matter. That the tide is turning for a more principled politics, and a more intelligent electorate. We have been in deep shit and are not out yet. And we could dig ourselves out, or we could push ourselves deeper.
Come to think of it, it is not the generation of wimps that brought our country where it is now. The real generations of wimps are the generations before this one that brought our country to where it is now, and still hope to milk it for generations to come. They’re the generations of our fathers, and the generations of our sons, who think that politics is a right just because of the sheer popularity of a family name or celebrity, and that it is the best way to make money. The wimps continue to persist in the belief that people are stupid, that you can just pay your way to office, that you can lie, cheat, steal, and just bribe police to get away with it. And sadly, they could. The real generation of wimps believe that there is no better way to do things, when the rest of the world have found much better ways. The wimps, like spoiled brats, vote for personal gain without thinking of the greater good. The wimps do not think of the generations that will come after them, and feel trapped because there is no better candidate (pare-pareho lang naman yan sila lahat), and no better options.
We have crucified someone who was not informed, one who was cruel to an MMDA officer, one who had a major major faux pas and even an amalayer on youtube and facebook. We have yet to crucify a cheater and a public official in the same way.
We will be voting in a few days time. And the Generation of Wimps will be looking at us for affirmation that our choices still matter. And I hope to God that our choices still matter, and that our choices are well thought out, and not just because of what the rest of the mob or facebook says. Because if we cannot get our act together, it really won’t matter which generation we were born into.
We will forever be the Generations of Wimps.