Being a teenager, it seems like my generation is in a raging uproar! Massive numbers of teenagers are having sex and getting pregnant. It has gotten to the point where some concerned school have offered kids condoms! Gang violence keeps getting worse. Stirred by racial ignorance, kids are killing each other and the number of kids doing drugs is immense.
Some adults think that my generation is too wild and worse than when they were young. It is a common for me to see an older adult, when regarding teen statistics about sex, drugs and violence, to shake their heads mournfully and say "What's wrong with these kids today? Things weren't like this when we were kids." They say that our generation is the worst.
With all the problems facing teens today, wouldn't it be better if we could go back to the days when our parents and grandparents were young? When times were simpler and more innocent? Yeah right! What was so simple and innocent about their times? Even in the 192's, the use of heroin was of epidemic proportions. The increase in the number of users led to a call for more legislation to stop the peddling of drug traffickers. During the 1970s marijuana use grew until it reached as many as an estimated 50 million Americans in every walk of life. What about the sex revolution of the sixties? With the invention of the contraceptive pill came an increase in teen sex. And there were the ever-so-famous sayings - "Free love" and "Make love, not war." Sex came to be a way of forming friendships and love. Well, of course there wasn't the gang problem that we have now. No, they just had the Ku Klux Klan, who went around murdering people because they were of a different race, color or religion. Racial ignorance is nothing new.
I'm not trying to justify the actions or problems of my generation. I'm just trying to say what a Billy Joel song so plainly said "We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning." Maybe our statistics are a bit higher but don't condemn us as the worst generation. Every generation has problems. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.