The Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri (who “writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day”) reminisces about the good old days in I am sick of these kids demanding safe spaces. A few snippets follow, but you gotta read the whole thing!
I am sick of these children and their demands for safe spaces.
Safe spaces! Back in my day, all we had were dangerous spaces. People would call you names that would turn your ears blue. Everyone had measles, mumps and rubella, just as a matter of course, and we did not go crawling to our family physicians for so-called vaccines. Disease was a ritual of childhood. We toughed it out. We built character.
… When children misbehaved, their parents were strongly encouraged to hit them with a rod.
Nobody wore safety belts. The water was full of mercury. The fish were full of sewage. Nobody recycled ANYTHING. When someone fell ill, you just hoped and prayed. (More things should be resolved that way: not with regulations or attempts at solutions but by wishing and hoping and thinking and praying. …
… We used to drink water from lead pipes. Some children still do this, but not nearly enough of them. There was smog in the air as thick as a man’s fist. … It was this pointless suffering that made me who I am.
Dare I deny these benefits to the children of today?
I look at kids these days and I despair. They need to man up and solve their own problems. They need to stop demanding to be coddled. Children now are bad and soft, and far too few of them have experienced the grit developed by being needlessly exposed to communicable diseases, or urged to ride bicycles without helmets.
Now, suddenly, they want to get rid of guns, too. The one thing I know is that we cannot stop guns. There is no point in discussing that; that is an immutable aspect of human nature. Children need to toughen up and learn how to care for themselves. They should learn CPR. …
If we let these kids have their way, soon there will not be danger anywhere. They will be able to go to school in the morning and feel confident that they will be able to come home in the evening. This is a radical thing to ask. I remember no such certainty. It is, therefore, undesirable. These children are weak. I do not want my children to live in a better world than the world that I grew up in, or the one we live in now. That would be to admit that things have progressed, and I do not admit that.
That is what conservatism means to me: the ability to pass the dangers and privations of my life on to the generation that will come after. The hope that their lives will be, if not actively worse than mine, then certainly no better. The idea that I suffered not because there were no better choices but because the suffering was inherently good.
I am sick of these children and their demands for safe spaces. Safe spaces! I refuse to modify my argument in any way to reflect the fact that what they are asking to be kept safe from is not words but bullets. …
When I was young, children were seen but not heard. If children suddenly started to be heard, that would be the greatest tragedy of all.
Like I said, you gotta read this in entirety.