Going to hell in a handbasket for the last 100,000 years

          People always want to recall the past events, that they were part of, as bigger and better.  One way we bolster our memories of ourselves is by looking with pity at the young preparing to take our place.
          I, too, am guilty of participating in this form or self-aggrandizement.

          For sixteen weeks of infantry basic training my unit exercised and ran in combat uniform and boots.  The Army soon changed its policy.  Trainees began wearing running shoes and a temperature-specific training uniform when they exercised.  I recall disparaging comments I made about these new recruits—they would, obviously, not be as tough as I.

          I later learned, from soldiers who'd entered the military a decade before me, that they thought similarly about me; back then, (in the days of the draft) drill sergeants used beatings and the threat of beatings to motivate trainees and since my drill instructors weren't permitted to touch trainees, I was—obviously—not as tough as they were.

          It’s human nature—the need to feel superior through negative comparison.

          A nomadic tribesman crossing the frozen bearing strait once said, ‘Kids today...they’ve got no respect...they're too soft.’  That hunter-gatherer was only repeating something he'd heard his grandfather say.  Without being asked to, these derogatory sentiments have left every adult mouth for as long as human mouths have formed words.  (Strangely, some have forgotten they are echoing their ancestors words...spoken, about them, a generation ago.) 

          Parents should worry if their children haven’t been arrested by the time they turn sixteen.  Being a juvenile delinquent is a birthright and as much a part of healthy adolescence as smoking cigarettes or getting pimples. — John Waters

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