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Today’s young people need to toughen up

In the not too distant past, when I heard people say things like “what kind of country are we leaving to our children and grandchildren,” I considered it hyperbole. I have come to the realization that I was wrong. The country’s future is not rosy. In fact, the evidence is incontrovertible. The millennials and whatever the newest generation comes to be called are the softest, least capable at handling any sort of adversity this country has produced.

They suffer from micro-aggressions, post-election stress disorder, require days off to recover from the election, need safe spaces so as not to be exposed to points of view they deem to be offensive. They were offered coloring books and therapy dogs to help them cope with the “aftermath” of the election, and exams were canceled due to their inability to concentrate. Now schools, including colleges, close because we were forecast to receive 12 inches of snow in a 48-hour period. What kind of helplessness are we engendering?

This goes beyond the silliness of canceling the father/daughter dance (as one school district recently did) in the name of inclusiveness. This is teaching millions of children and young adults that life should be free of adversity and challenges, much the same way that participation trophies made kids believe that competition was bad and that there are no winners and losers. How does this country charge boldly into the future with this bunch of delicate flowers “leading” the way?

My late uncle, a member of the Greatest Generation, while fighting in World War II was shot in the head in the French countryside at the age of 19. He lost an eye and suffered from a seizure disorder for the rest of his life. Yet he returned home, got married, got a job and raised four children, all without cowering from what life dealt him. Can anyone picture a current 19-year-old doing the same? Enabling the previously described level of fragility will be our undoing.

Joseph P. Brignone

Buffalo

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