The youth are an enlightened lot today. Definitely a soul-stirring topic of vital importance. Youth today are really an enlightened lot. Youth today are reservoirs of strength and brain. They...

The youth are an enlightened lot today.

 Definitely a soul-stirring topic of vital importance. Youth today are really an enlightened lot.

Youth today are reservoirs of strength and brain. They have catapulted their way into every walk of life, successfully. Whether one talks of one's viewpoint of life, one's education, one's marriage, one's economic independence or the way one has to live one's life describes volumes of the way our young generation thinks and acts.

There is no doubt that today's young generation is perhaps the smartest of all time youth. The way they carry themselves, and the professionalism they display is creditable. Not only do they work hard but also work smart.

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I was laughing pretty hard at the essay posted, and I'd love to debate most of the statements made. First, I don't believe there's a whole lot more "enlightened" students out there today than there were in 1940, 1960, 1980 or 2000--aside from being adept at the many technological advancements that they have grown up with since they were children. Internet sites like eNotes are in existence today because many students are either too lazy or intellectually stagnant to complete their school assignments themselves. Many of today's youth don't seem to understand the importance of history or how they can learn from it. The lack of respect for previous generations by many of today's youth borders on disgraceful, and the statement that "There is no doubt that today's young generation is perhaps the smartest of all time" shows an elitist conceit--and juvenile shallowness--that is sad, sad, sad. Being a whiz on the computer or at video games does not equate to genius, ravinderrana. Hard work, perserverance and creative thought is what made previous generations great, and hopefully the rising generations will follow this old-fashioned concept of success.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Young people today have opportunities and advantages that were never even dreamed of by people their age from previous generations.  Of course, each generation tends to have more advantages than the one before it, but the existence of the internet by itself gives today's young people huge advantages over people in the past.  Whether any particular young person is willing to try to use such advantages to the fullest depends on that person's commitment and motivation.

I thought it might be interesting to look around on the internet and see what kind of information may be out there that may be relevant to this topic.  Here are some interesting links:


pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not really on board with the idea that today's youths work hard. Some do, but they are in the minority among the youths I know. And far too many of my students think that "working smart" means either cutting corners or out-and-out cheating.

It's true that our current youth know a lot of things. I would however submit that for all the new things they know, there are a lot of things they do not know that previous generations would have considered common knowledge. Globalization and the information age have driven a wedge between what people know and the acquisition of useful skills. So many youths think they are quite sophisticated, and yet they can't do the most rudimentary things for themselves, such as cook a meal, grow a garden, sew on a button, or change a tire or oil. I think it's unfortunate that we are losing these basic skills; it's a form of life skills illiteracy.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am going to have to disagree with the statement made for the posting. I do not believe that youth today, overall, are more enlightened than previously. Instead, I tend to agree more with litteacher8 and pacorz.

I have recently banned the following statement in my classroom: "At least I passed." I am sorry, but this does not prove to speak to the increased enlightenment of the youth today.

Now, if the quote is based upon the Merriam Webster definition,

a philosophic movement of the 18th century marked by a rejection of traditional social, religious, and political ideas and an emphasis on rationalism,

I would agree, with one exception. While the youth today are rejecting traditional social rules and political ideas, they are not placing an emphasis on rationalism.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it all depends on how you define "intelligence" here.  As far as critical thinking skills, I suppose my own parents are testaments to the idea that "there is nothing new under the sun."  They instilled in me the idea that people cannot generally think for themselves and those who can (and do) are rare and above average.  But this seems to continue to be the biggest problem in the world, whether it is our youth or the parents of our youth.  There seems to be a general lack of people thinking for themselves.

Like post 5, I found this thread a little laughable, but I'm not sure the problem is specific to "today's youth" only.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe in the saying, "Wiser, but weaker." I believe that each generation, especially this one, has become wiser but weaker. From the time of infancy I can see how advanced many babies are in comparison to past generations. As kids grow older they also question and challenge adults way more than previous generations. Young people today do not just sit back and accept things as truth without examining it for themselves. That being said, I believe that this generation is more emotionally unstable and lacks basic moral principles and self-control.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interesting comments above! As for me, I think that today's youth is in some ways unchanged compared to other generations. However, at the same time, the impact that technology has had on them has been incredible. The way that students are expected to study and learn nowadays has changed irrevocably thanks to the arrival of the internet. This has also, in my opinion, helped create a culture that is unable to delay gratification, as everything is available all the time.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sure, the original post is over the top, but so are some of the responses here.  It's not like we (speaking as someone who'll never see 40 again) were paragons of responsibility and hard work.  I remember quite a few students in my high school who slacked and quite a few teachers who thought we were too lazy for our own good.  And what about the hippie generation?  I think it's wrong to view this generation of youth as either better or worse than previous ones.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do think that today's generation is more worldy than previous ones.  They know more, and at an earlier age.  They have so much information so easily accessible.  What they seem to lack is the ability to follow through when things DO NOT come easily.  They lack effort.