Every now and then we read in the news papers and watch TV and even in discussion people remarks that the youth have lost morality and lack etiquete. People passing such glib remarks donot think that they have not taught their kids lessons on morality.
I think society as a whole lacks morality and etiquette in comparison to previous generations. Being that younger people are more immature and inexperienced, they will appear to be worse than older people, but I actually think society as a whole is lacking in many ways.
I agree that people have long complained about people younger than themselves, but I also think that there has been a growth in unhealthy behavior in our culture. One has only to compare and contrast what is permissible in popular culture today with what was permissible, say, in the 30s and 40s to see (and hear) that there has been a decline in cultural values (at least from my perspective). I think we may be fooling ourselves if we think that our popular culture hasn't changed significantly (and for the worse) from what it once was.
At this point in time, morality is a Subjective Notion instead of an Objective Standard. Basing morality on Biblical codes gave people something to ascribe to, a higher standard to base their own actions on. Now that we are told that there is no such thing as "wrong" behavior, children have no authority to look to for their moral standards. I don't think we must impose any sort of Moral Code -- look how corrupt the MPAA is, or the disaster of Prohibition -- but parents should instill a sense of morality in their children based on their own beliefs.
Because the people who are rude and promiscuous draw more attention, people tend to focus upon them. However, there does seem to be less emphasis upon appropriate behavior nowadays as people are allowed to "express themselves." Nevertheless, it is difficult to be objective because as post #3 states, every generation has a somewhat pejorative view of the younger ones.
I seem to remember my Victorian-era grandmother saying the same things about my mother, and I definitely remember my mother and father making similar remarks about my brother and me. I find myself saying the same things about young people today. To a great extent, I believe such opinions arise from the ever-present generation gap, and how different ideas, trends and attitudes change through the years. I definitely agree that the younger generation needs a few lessons in etiquette and proper social behavior, but then I was versed in this by my grandmother and her old-fashioned ideals. Many of today's parents did not have such a formal upbringing, and they have passed on their own behaviors to their children.
I think that people who say such things are either A) saying that other people's children have poor values or B) that they tried to teach their kids good values but society's influence was greater than their own.
It's a complaint that is as old as time. People have always said this.