“On The Way Down, Boy!!”

After my last shirlandyou post, someone wrote, “Loved your story on baring your heart.” The whole writing was a play on words, but this time I really am baring my heart on a subject that is of concern to me. I will Pride 1probably write and rewrite this several times so as not offend anyone. I decided to write this after reading a lesson in Cobb’s Juvenile Reader, No 2, published in 1831. This article convinced me that what I am sensing as a problem among today’s young people, is not my imagination. The article is entitled “Absurdity of Pride,” and here is how it reads:                          

1. Every man, let his state and condition in life be what they may, depends on those around him for assistance and support.

2. Men in a very low estate, may do us a great deal of good, and we often want their help. Many animals save us much labour and trouble, and supply us with many comforts.

3. We could not well do without the horse; he carries us; he draws our heavy burdens, and does a great deal of hard work.

4. The cow and goat give us milk, butter and cheese. The sheep supply us with meat for feed, and wool to make warm clothing

5. What child can think on these things, and be proud? He who depends on so many lower objects for food and raiment, should not be proud.

6. He should love, pity, and assist the poor, and never be cruel to any animal. He who helps the poor and distressed, and is kind to all animals, will have his reward.

Imagine today’s student being taught how much he is, and has been, dependent, on those around him and encouraging him to show respect to them. No, today, children are told they are much smarter than their 

Pride 4elders and they are ungrateful for the start they get in life from many others. They show a lack of respect for older people, are generally ungrateful to those who have offered assistance and are quick to express their opinions on everything.” Well,” you say, “this is typical of the young.” I know that is true because I’ve found that while getting older I have learned to keep my mouth shut, no matter how tempted I am to set another person straight.

I recently saw a video of a high school student who felt it was necessary to make his many, ungrateful opinions known to his teacher. Uninvited, he moved to the front of his classroom, and using a number of expletives, told his teacher how poorly she was teaching. “How do you expect us to learn when you make class so uninteresting? You should put more effort into your teaching,” he said. He, then headed for the classroom door, and slammed it behind him. He was a prideful, unappreciative, ungrateful student, who never gives thought to his condition in life and how dependent he is on those around him for “assistance and support.” His every word and movement was marked with pride. The extensive knowledge he has now, is because someone came to his assistance. He has depended on so many “objects”, (others) to bring him to his superior level of knowledge, a knowledge far greater than his teacher’s. (So he thinks.)

What does the Bible mean when it says: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall?” It means the next step after being all puffed up with arrogance could be falling flat on our face. A person is pride 6bound to suffer or face disappointment because of the wrong decisions that he or she might make. In other words, too much arrogance and self pride are sure to bring bad and disappointing results. I have a feeling this young man is “on the way down.”

I‘d love to hear what your thoughts on this subject. Maybe you saw the same video clip to which I refer.  

13 thoughts on ““On The Way Down, Boy!!”

  1. I am so sorry to have to say that I agree . I think many young people are unbelievably spoiled and very self centered. Who is to blame? The parents who want much more for their children that they are forgeting a lot of basic common sense rules. Young people need to be guided by their parents…they don’t need their parents to be their friends. They need their peers to be the friends and the parent s to be the rule setters, but they do always need love.


    • How I LOVE hearing from you, Connie. And, LOVE is the answer in many of these cases. Loving and showing them what respect and gratitude for others isfrom the time they are small children.


  2. Firstly, I think it’s a dangerous game when we generalize an entire group so large as “young people” and then label them with something negative. There are many young people who are grateful for life, family, and opportunity. The case you site, I wouldn’t have enough information to make a judgement about. I might also suggest that an education system that is increasingly tailored to opposed questions (true learning) and formed to simply give answers and have student regurgitate those answers on a test will certainly lead to a much resentment and perhaps an attitude that the student whom your story cites may have felt. There is a reason why we have to drug so many kids just for them to make it through our system of education.

    Now, sure, there are many other young people who have an appearance of pride working in their lives, so how would we go about lifting them up to their true identity as a grateful, caring, and loving human being? My proposal, would be to start telling them how grateful, caring, and loving they are. As opposed to the more nature response of society which is to say “these kids today are so ungrateful.” Perhaps the continued label of “ungrateful” that so many apply to the younger crowd, is exactly what keeps many of them believing what the “older crowd” is saying, and after hearing how ungrateful they are, perhaps that is what they subconsciously begin to portray.

    Final question: What if everything we see in the younger people, that we are alarmed about, are simply aspects of ourselves that we are also alarmed about? .


    • Thanks saunsea for your comments. I agree that we can’t include all young people in what I’ve written. But then, we shouldn’t always blame someone else, and not hold them responsible, either.


  3. You are absolutely right on that society, young and old, have fallen away from showing humility. We are quick to judge, full of pride, and self seeking.
    I, myself, have recalled the same Scripture and have placed my feet back on the ground, rather than to ride the high horse that others have helped me get up on. We are not much of anything or anyone without the help of otheothers


    • What a delight to hear from a sweet, young woman, raising two young boys. I know you have accepted the challenge to bring them up to respect others. Thanks Yvonne for writing and for being a granddaughter I can be proud of.


  4. Shirley, I didn’t see the video clip that you referred, too. However, I totally agree with you and the comments on prideful young adults. Many of today’s youth don’t understand what is really important in life. They put themselves first, and they don’t ask “what can I do for someone or for the environment or how can I help to improve things”….all that they are interested in is what they can get for themselves…..never giving back, and sure to complain….never being appreciative and not being respectful. I see young adults acting in ways that are unacceptable and I really wonder what the world is coming to. It saddens me to see so much hurt and disrespect, and a lack of concern for others. People keep taking from the earth and they aren’t giving back to it. Rainforests are being destroyed and habitat for animals is disappearing. I could go on and on about this subject. Parents need to teach their children that disrespect is not acceptable anywhere….in a classroom, at home, or in nature. They also need to be taught to obey God’s rules, and that is the key to everything!


    • You are always so on-top of what I write. Thanks for your comments, Colleen. I know we can’t put every young person in the same box, but in general, what is said is, correct.


  5. Our history and our stories as a family are so important. Long hours of sitting around the kitchen table telling stories and reminesing. Even first timers have a sense of belonging and feel like family. We continue to tell our stories so not to forget the sacrific and love of the past generations made on our behalf. Parents today do want to be best friends and that’s not possible if we wish to raise productive…hard woring…repectful…caring individuals. My daughter once said to me…”I hate you”…my responds…”Good…then I’m doing my job”…!! Now as an adult she tells me I wasn’t stricked enough. Generalizing a specific group can be dangerous although we see more an more the trend of disrespect. Much depends on the heart.and unconditional love. Thanks for a great blog…!!


    • Thanks for writing, Karen. We need more talks around the kitchen table remembering the influence of others on our lives. I oftentimes remember neighbors who took me under their wing and encouraged me in my Christian walk. I’ll have to write about that some day. I loved your daughter’s response to her upbringing. That’s your reward for being aware that cuddly isn’t always the best way to go with our children.


  6. So many good points. As our society dismisses all thought of God, our behavior just becomes more deviant and discouraging. I feel that pride is the source of all sin and that we are all prideful. Thankfully, God forgives us and continues to work in us. We all have a long way to go.


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