We went to a salad bar restaurant and waited in line to get something to drink. There was a teenager in front of us who obviously did not realize the number of decisions he had to make to get his lunch. It was shocking how poorly he made decisions. As we stood there and waited our turn, I could actually see steam coming out of the ears of the employee helping this teen create his meal. Anything she asked was a startling moment for the boy. When it was finished, he even had challenges figuring out their payment system. After many moments of watching this, my husband and I started getting amused. It was almost comical how awful this kid was at making any type of decision.
While we ate our choices, we talked about how scary it was to watch a teen who was so poorly equipped at making decisions. And these are the employees and generation that will run our world when we are old. They will be making all sorts of decisions to help make our world better, yet this kid couldn’t even choose a type of lettuce. So we looked around the food court and realized that we were surrounded by teens and our discussion broadened to what an unrealistic view of the world they must have. Everything is always available at their fingertips, they haven’t had to earn any income to get what they want, and they have every electronic device they could want. Yet we don’t blame these teens, we blame the parents.
What world have we left them to lead, and how have we taught them to make decisions and deal with running their lives? It seems we have been so busy making sure they had a better world than we did that we forget to teach them to run their own lives, be decisive, and interact with others with respect. Somewhere the golden rule was forgotten. We spent too much time giving them every advantage and forgot to help them understand the power of working for what they want. All this from watching a teen battle through the decisions required by a salad bar.
This reminded me that our job as elders, leaders, and employers is to help the next generations learn how to make thought out decisions and better understand the impact of their own behaviors on others. It was a reminder to be patient and let them grow- which may mean fail – and allow them the lessons experience and life have to offer. And maybe next time we will choose a different place to buy our drinks.
had an incredibly difficult time making any type of decision.