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I have no problem being or sounding self-congratulatory. The alternative (waiting for others to congratulate you) is much worse.

It’s ridiculous to compare yourself as a young adult to the youth of today and say that back in your days human beings were better.

[ 2 min read ]

What people who complain about next generations of people don’t realize (because it wouldn’t make them feel so good) is that they would be exactly like those young people, had they been born 20, 40, 60, or 80 years later.

They would have been born in a different era, in a different culture, surrounded by different people, things and messages. In a completely new reality. They would have soaked up a completely different narrative about the world. They would have had different challenges and problems.

Which, of course, means that there was nothing special about any past generation, just as there is nothing special about any new generation. We owe everything to the evolution of our species, to the evolution of our brains (but it’s a very slow process), and to the era in which we were born. Both things are beyond our control so we have nothing we actually could brag about (if we wanted to compare ourselves to the people of the past). This isn’t a good message for a lot of people, but it’s the truth.

The previous generations believe (because it’s nice to have such conviction) that there was something special about them. That they have something to brag about. They don’t. Everything evolves and how we live also evolves and nobody can stop that. And we adjust, and what we do changes. Neither can we go back to what it once was, although most older people would be always ultra happy if we could — the world would once again be this familiar place, and human behavior “normal” (or, perhaps, a little bit closer to “normal”).

The main (perhaps the only) reason most people have this conviction that human beings were better back in their days (when they were 20-, 30-, or 40-somethings) is that what we as species did and how we behaved back then feels familiar to them, whereas what the people in these age groups do and how they behave today doesn’t.