Defining Deviancy Down

Like all mornings, I start off reviewing a lengthy list of websites for thought provoking articles, research, and blog posts. Today, I was gobsmacked after seeing this…

Clearly the concept of consistent mindful effort with the intent of achieving goals and dreams has been rendered null and void in a generation coddled from birth, in a generation told they can be anything they want, told they can have anything they want… when bored instead of turning to self development, they turn to stupidity.

If the shortest step to stardom is stupidity, then all the better for a generation addicted to followers, likes, and the dream of instant internet fame that eating laundry pods is considered a ‘smart’ decision.

You read that right, Millenials are eating laundry pods after branding the activity the “Tide Pod Challenge” and are posting videos of themselves foaming at the mouth.

Parents of these toddlers in adult bodies (i.e. Millenials) really should be asking themselves… what happened? What did we or didn’t we do that has led to our children growing up into adults who have lost the ability to think, to reason, to critically analyze, to assess, to evaluate?

Unfortunately, parents of Millenials – i.e. the Boomers – are too busy obsessed with their stock portfolios, their career ladders, their home renovations, and their newly leased Benz or Rover to care that their children are incapable of thinking, lack basic life skills. Reality has not sunk in yet that constantly providing your child with the latest smartphone upgrade does not equate to parenting, to mentoring, to teaching, to loving your child… it does nothing to raise them up into self sufficient, independently thinking adults capable of contributing to society.

Instead, we have a generation so mindless that injesting chemicals is “fun”. Meanwhile, this generation is so highly threatened by anyone who chooses to exercise their right to free speech to share their perspective on a topic that they call on the government to censor, to jail, to pass legislation preventing free speech. Their grandparents fought and lost their lives to obtain the freedoms they enjoy today; they stood against tyranny, against domination by evil, but their grandchildren never taught these lessons, never instructed in the perils of forgetting history, have taken to inviting the devil not only onto home soil, but directly into their homes. It is this mindlessness, this level of chosen ignorance (i.e. stupidity) that in the past has led to dictators being put into power, that has led to genocide, that has led to war and inevitably to death.

“In 1993, US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D., N.Y.) coined the phrase “defining deviancy down”. Moynihan’s thesis was that, as a society, America has been “redefining deviancy” so as to exempt conduct previously stigmatized, and quietly raising the “normal” level for behaviour that was abnormal by earlier standards.” (3)

Any society that becomes numb, achieves a “narcoleptic state that diminishes the human condition to the point where soldiers can eat their battlefield rations on the bodies of the fallen… a society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.” (3)

So it seems that this generation will have to relive the evils of the past to be woken up because waking up on their own or being woken up no longer seems possible without catastrophe.

To the parents of the next generation… take heed from the failures of the Boomers who did not raise their children but let technology “parent”, “love” and “do it for them”.  To parents today, the temptation may be for Alexa or Siri to take over where smartphones stopped, do not fall for it. Invest in your children, care – as if it needs to be said, but clearly it needs to be said – about your children, be parents not custodians of your children. Help your children by giving them the experiences they need in order to be able to function on their own as adults.

It is not denying children childhood by making them realize responsibility, accountability, and ownership.  It is using childhood for what childhood is supposed to be used for… a time for mistakes, for errors, to gain experience.  Childhood is not a time to be wasted, its a time when every mistake possible should be made – under parental supervision and guidance – so that the child gains as much understanding of life as possible so that upon adulthood they aren’t starting from scratch. Mistakes at 7, 10 and 12 are easier to repair, easier to learn from, easier to move on from, cheaper to fix! Those same mistakes at 25, 30 or 40 can leave life long effects… effects that some may be unable to recover from fully.

If you refuse to be a parent, deny your child a loving parent, then do not be surprised when you see your adult-toddler making videos of themselves eating laundry pods thinking its their ticket to fame, to stardom, to fortunes.

The “Tide Pod Challenge” is a reflection on the mental-emotional stability and state of the Millenial generation, and it is equally a reflection of the parenting performed by Boomers.

Think about what you want for your kids… then decide what they need from you today, as in now, so that they end up there and not on the floor with a friend calling a Poison Control Center.


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