Don't Listen to Your Parents: And 20 Other Thoughts for Teens, Young Adults, and People Older than Young Adults Paperback by Andrew Krehbiel
A Letter to the Parents
We love you, but we’re not listening to you.
This isn’t a bad thing. This might actually be a good thing for the both of you. Besides, did you honestly listen to your own parents when you were our age?
Our kids will do the same thing to us when we get older and wiser, but that’s later. This is now. This is the start of something new.
You’re saying all the rights things to us. Sit us down and tell us to work hard, show respect, be polite, have fun, and find our passion. These are all really good life values. We appreciate these values.
You also tell us that actions speak louder than words.
We’ve seen Dad, on multiple occasions, exhausted from working late at the office. We’ve seen Mom freak out every winter about Christmas shopping. We’ve seen both of you take pills that aren’t allowed in professional sports, but you have to take them regularly to keep sane.
We, the children, are partially to blame. We want the toys, the gadgets, the latest technology in our hands. Classmates left and right are leaving us in the dust. And we pressure you into giving us what we want. We keep telling ourselves that the latest iPhone will help us succeed in life, and with our insane persuasion skills, we pressure you into giving that phone to us. We force you to buy not just the phone, but also other material possessions that we don’t absolutely need.
No matter your efforts, they’re more than enough. Here’s the problem: we can see your inner light fading, your energy depleting just to keep up with our demands.
We’re done with the old ways. Let us help you.
We don’t want to end up like you anymore.
You tell us, through your actions, to keep up with the Joneses, even though everyone knows they’re an imaginary family full of imaginary solutions to real-life problems.
You tell us, through your actions, to work hard for the boss for 40 years, and then we can retire and live the good life.
You tell us, through your actions, to stay in school and go to college so that we can get a high-paying job that might be replaced by robots in the near future.
We’re not listening to those actions. For your own good.
Starting today, we will ask for less stuff. It might hurt in the beginning, but it will be worth it in the end. Less material stuff, less room to put it in, less time to clean the rooms, less time yelling at us to clean our rooms. Problem #1 solved.
Starting today, we will not work hard, but we’ll work efficiently and effectively to make this world a better place. That’s great that you’re working more than 40 hours a week, but what is it costing you? What if you die tomorrow, and you never traveled the world because you were waiting to retire first?
We want our time back, and consequently, we want our time with our family back. In order for us to do that, we’re gonna have to build stuff, create stuff, start a business and take back our freedom to be our own boss. So that you have more time to love us, whether we’re sitting in your basement or halfway across the world. And, we might make more money in the process. Problem #2 solved.
Starting today, we want to learn how to learn. We want to think for ourselves, but the pressure to think the same way as everyone else is immense. Teachers give us A’s, friends give us hugs and/or sex, and bosses give us raises if we think like they do. Education puts us on a one-way ticket to the “American Dream,” but no one knows if the American Dream is what we really want.
Do we really need to go to college? What about religion—can we live without religion? What if Einstein was wrong about his theory of relativity? How come fast cars and faster women are never good enough for us? How much money will give us our freedom? Do we have to live in America to live the American Dream?
We want to ask these questions, but we’re scared. Critical thinking should be open, non-judgmental, and honest. Help us create that open space for us to grow and learn. Problem #3 solved.
There are more problems, but these are the basic problems we are dealing with today. These solutions will not only make our lives better, but also your lives as well.
Remember, we’re still listening to your words; but your actions tell a different story from the one your words do.
Help us rewrite that story.