I guess every generation has had plenty to say – not much of it good – about the ones that come after it. Historians say people were doing that as long ago as Ancient Greece, and if every generation really was worse than their parents’ one was, we’d be in a pretty sorry state by now. I don’t believe it’s true, really. Look at the Greatest Generation, who got through the Depression then won the Second World War. They sure weren’t the product of 3,000 years of decline.
On the other hand I think this time, just once, older people today might be right about the next generation. Look at today’s young people. Defeat the Nazis and Japan? This lot can’t even hear a different opinion without feeling “triggered” and needing to hide in a “safe space”! They’re mentally fragile in a way we never were. Lots of experts have talked about why this is, and they have plenty of theories, but in among talking about safety culture and helicopter parenting there’s one thing I think they’re missing. If you want my opinion, young people today are so fragile because they can’t do anything that doesn’t involve poking a screen.
The truth is, these kids have hardly had to do anything for themselves. It’s not their fault; a lot of it isn’t even their parents’ fault. We just live in a society with so many conveniences, and so many cheap goods available, that people don’t need to do much for themselves. Why learn to prepare a chicken when it’s available in a tray, ready to stick in the microwave? Why repair clothes when they’ll be out of fashion in a couple of months anyway?
The good news is it doesn’t take a lot to build some confidence, even in a 21st century snowflake. Teach them a few simple skills, give them the knowledge to do things for themselves, and pretty soon they’ll realize that not having every single thing go their way isn’t so emotionally devastating after all. Here are a few suggestions on what every nervous young person should learn.
#1. Missing buttons make clothes look sloppy. In bad weather they also let body heat out, increasing the risk of hypothermia. Anything stored in an unbuttoned pocket is prone to falling out and getting lost – if you’ve ever served in the military you’ve probably heard an NCO barking, “Do that up, or it’ll be an ammo pouch next time.”
If you know how to sew on a button that’s a big help in keeping your clothes smart and serviceable. It’s also a simple enough job if you know the basics, and gives someone a good start on having the confidence to fix their own clothes.
#2. Once they know how to use a needle and thread, a lot more options open up. Missing buttons are bad, in a survival situation; gaping holes in a coat or pants are a lot worse. Knowing how to do basic repairs on clothing is an essential skill. Anyone can shove a needle through both edges and hold it together for awhile, but pretty quickly it’s going to fray and tear open again. Teach your kids how to do a repair that lasts and they’ll be much less likely to become snowflakes.
#3. It used to be just about everyone who drove could competently change a tire. That doesn’t seem to be true anymore. Part of that is that it doesn’t need to be done so often – modern road surfaces are a lot more forgiving, and steel-belted radial tires can take much more abuse – but general loss of skills comes into it too. The thing is, changing a tire is no harder than it used to be, and it’s still an essential skill if you drive. Sooner or later you’re going to find yourself sitting on a flat; why call out a recovery service when all the tools you need to fix it yourself are sitting in the trunk?
Related: Lost Native American Survival Skills
#4. Young people don’t write letters anymore. They text and email and send snapshots of everything they do, but they don’t write letters. And they should.
Writing a letter is a more serious, thoughtful way to communicate. It takes some time to write a letter, showing that you’ve put consideration and effort into it. A letter is also more permanent. Drop your cell phone in a lake and everything stored on it is gone, but a letter tucked away in a box at home will last for a lifetime. A letter bringing good news will become a treasured possession that brings happiness every time it’s read; we should all know how to write one.
#5. Young people love their organic, non-GMO foods – but do they have a clue how they’re grown? Usually not. The thing is, when I was a kid I loved growing stuff. Mom and dad grew vegetables, and they gave me my own little plot so I could join in. I learned that there’s a lot more to growing things than scattering some seeds and coming back a couple of months later to fill your basket. I also learned just how satisfying it is to eat something you grew yourself.
#6. It’s easy to make dinner when all you need to do is stick a tray in the microwave or pick up your phone and call out for pizza. The trouble is, if that’s how you roll you’re going to be in real trouble when, one day, your microwave and phone don’t work anymore.
Everyone should know how to prepare a chicken for the oven, roast it, and cook up all the trimmings that go with it. The same skills will let you cook plenty other things, too.
#7. It’s never been easier to get credit than it is now, and a lot of young people are awash in debt as a result. Credit cards, student loans, car loans – it adds up fast, and many people in their 20s already have debts they’re going to struggle with their whole lives.
Related: 5 Lost Survival Lessons I Learned from the Amish
People need to learn that they can’t have everything that they want right now, and that if they can’t afford something it isn’t a capitalist conspiracy. Sometimes you’re going to have to get a loan – a mortgage is the classic example. Usually it won’t kill you to wait until you can afford what you want.
#8. I lean to the political right. A lot of my friends are more to the left. They’re still my friends, though. Why? Because I’m not a hysterical idiot.
My leftie friends want the same things as I do – a strong country, more wealth, an end to poverty. We just disagree about how to get there. They’re wrong, of course, but they’re not actually evil. Just because someone doesn’t share my opinions about the economy it doesn’t mean they’re a literal Marxist who wants to destroy America. Most lefties want America to thrive, just the same as I do. The only difference is they’ve picked the wrong solutions.
#9. It doesn’t matter how good you are; you’re not always going to win. That’s true in competitive sports – “competitive” means something, after all – but it’s true of life in general, too.
When things don’t go your way, just accept that sometimes that’s how it works out and move on with your life. There aren’t many losses you can’t recover from, so get on with recovering from it and don’t whine about how it wasn’t fair.
#10. Maybe the worst thing about snowflakes is that nothing is ever their fault. When they mess up it’s always because their professor said something they disagreed with, or their grade school teacher yelled at them, or mom and dad told them Santa isn’t real. They seem to have an excuse for everything.
Well, that just isn’t good enough. Maybe the most important thing we can teach young people to do is take responsibility for their own actions. If you screw up, don’t go looking for someone to blame; go looking for a solution. Admit your mistakes, fix any damage as well as you can, and do better next time. That’s the only way to grow as a person, and everyone – including our easily-melted young people – needs to remember it.
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Number 10 is the most important on this list. To that I’d add a willingness to help others when opportunities arise. Number 8? Sounds more like an opinion rather than a life skill.
I see that point as more “this generation finds it far more difficult to understand others’ opinions, turning to insults instead of being open to the option of being wrong.”
I like your addition of “willingness to help others when opportunities arise.” That is a hallmark of being a Christian as well as a number of other religions, and for simply living a moral lifestyle.
I’ll also agree with #8, and use Trump’s Wall as an example where many right-wingers disagree with this concept as a foolish waste of money.
Next time you want to protect your family just take all the doors and locks off your home and see how long you stay safe.Let me know how that works out for you. Our country is no different; we need to put up doors and walls to keep from getting invaded from those that would harm us.
That is the same as comparing apples and oranges.
I think what he is trying to say is get along with people who hold a different opinion than yours. Reasonable minds can disagree. I don’t know how many different religions there are in the world but they can’t all be the one true religion that leads to the eternal goal. By and large, they all teach (disregarding whether the teaching is accepted) tolerance and respect for others. That really is a life skill and makes one’s life easier if one can accept that reasonable people hold different opinions.
Just like you and me, Hoosier. You think it is not a life skill, I think that it just might be a life skill. We could both be wrong. Doesn’t mean we should despise each other because we hold different opinions.
Reading different perspectives is helpful, point being #8. The way I read it, Fergus is only stating his opinion, where Rusty, and you LLC see a different slant. (I still think Fergus was just stating his opinion 🙂 )
That fine by me.
Merry Christmas all!
I agree that staying friendly with people who disagree with you is a life skill. We need to work together with others. You just can,t get rid of people who think differently. My problem is I am ” independent”. I am not a right winger or conservative, although I agree with them much of the time. But my liberal friends reject me, politically anyway. One screamed at me you are NOT a liberal!!!! When I host a dinner, it had to be a pro Trump affair with only Trump supporters or a dinner with only ant Trump people. Otherwise, WWIII would break out in my home. No thanks. I wonder how they would manage if the grid want down for a long time.
Ditto 100%. You beat me to the greatest comments on #10 and #8.
I disagree. Being able to have a civil discussion with someone who has opposing opinions to your own is an extremely important life skill…so is keeping an open mind and actually accepting scientific evidence which might make one change their mind about what “someone” told them is true. So many people wear blinders to science because they don’t understand it, heard about it from “someone” or worse read it on the internet so it must be true. Question everything, even your own beliefs, it can be eye opening.
my opinion may be wrong,but from what i got out of reading number eight and from what i’ve seen being a young person surrounded by people who are “snowflakes” as the author calls them, i would assume he means that people are far more sensitive nowadays, an example of something that happened to me was this: i had a friend who didnt know i was a trump supporter,she was my best friend until she found out,then i was instantly a racist sexist bigot. I assume The purpose of number eight was the fact that people have very closed minds now. aside from the rare actually rational person.
Gee, I’m a racist bigot and didn’t know it! A Native American racist bigot, at that. Tell her the dems are America’s Nazi Party. soros is still a Nazi and Joe Kennedy became one after reading the propaganda Mein Kamph. Hey, come to think of it, two ex-girlfriends are black racist bigots. One aunt is, as well! In fact, all of my family and 70% of Native Americans must be racist bigots because we all support the T and hate the dnc/kkk=nazi party usa. You walk in beauty.
Mandatory 2 years military service after high school Not physically fit then other service like Pease corps, work, full time in food banks, nursing homes, public service jobs, ETC. NO EXCEPTIONS. Time to grow up before going into state run propaganda mills known as colleges.
Graywolf12, I agree. I’ve held this view since my late 20’s, a long time ago. I also hold the Heinlein “Storm Trooper?” notion that be a vet, to be eligible to vote. However, I add give 2 yrs service. Shall we say, I was not a popular person. Oh yes, I’m female, I count women in the national conscription. Hasn’t hurt the Israelie women to know they can take care of themselves.
As a US Marine, I also agree that 2 years mandatory service (Public/military/Peace Corps/etc) should be a part of everyone’s upbringing. It gives people a chance to ‘grow up’ at their own rate of speed, and gives each person the basics of responsibility, respect, discipline, and self-worth. I am proud of my time in the service, and continue to serve with community projects and Toys for Tots, have spent many hours with National Ski Patrol, the American Red Cross, and other volunteer groups. It took me 23 years to get into nursing school (long story, but I kept at it and finally got there!). Kids today have no idea that there is work to be done to get what they want. All will not be handed to them just because they want it.
Thank you for your service. I served 1958-1979 in the Air Force.
Nope. Do like Native Americans and start by age 12 for all children. Every child by that age should be competent in tracking and hunting skills, even city kids. At that age, all children should be required to take lessons ion firearms, and the care and maintenance of. At 16, every child should belong to a home-defense group (neighborhood watch) and at 18, assigned to a military post. 6 months training would be adequate. Remember what happened to the lib, Charlie Rangel, for daring to expose what the dnc wants, forced military service. Look how draftees destroyed the military in Vietnam, and look at how successful the all-voluntary military is. Be a ‘skin and start the kids out when very you. I did this, and one stepson is so proficient in arms and military, he was to go to Army Intel. His mother ruined that with her whining and lying. His kid sister is now a brown shoe in te Navy and just as good as he is in all things military. When sh talks to her mother, a rare happening, she tells her No friggin whining, Mom! A tough kid with a big heart. We’re Native American and follow that in Christ. Walk in beauty.
I do not know who you are defining as snowflake but if in your haste to think that someone not of your political ilk cannot be interested in and capable of being prepared then you have revealed volumes about yourself.
You need to turn your critical eye to your own soul.
I will affix my real name
You read a heck of a lot more into “snowflake” than I did. Claude was identifying useful, self-reliant skills that seem to be lacking in many in the latest generation. He was not putting down people who disagreed with him politically. In fact, he was promoting more comity regardless of differing political opinions. He was criticizing “snowflakes” who can’t handle in an adult manner the fact that someone disagrees with them, and consider a differing opinion as an actual attack on them. I think I detect a little “snowflakiness” in your comment. I’ll use my real name, too.
Thanks for speaking up.
There you go you gave a Cajun grandma a reason to put in 2 cents. Get the chip off your shoulder a**hole (yes he won) NO ONE is even thinking politics. Go back to your fake media; we’re trying to ignore you idiots. You are outing yourself as a leftist, can’t debate or comment without trying to destroy. Pathetic!
Really Mary? I think you have a huge chip on your shoulder. The author did mention politics under #8. You should probably read it again. It’s about polite discourse.
Your comment makes you seem like an exact example of who the author was talking about in the introductory paragraphs. Immediately offended and playing the victim.
I agree. Get a thicker skin.. people have put up with this “princess and the pea, I’m sooo offended” overreaction to everything crap for too long. no More!
well said, my family cant even say we’re trump supporters without someone getting in our face and calling us racist sexist bigots.
Pat he was not referring to any individual but to what is seen in today’s young generation. Some of them have no clue as to what is really happening in this world today. They believe whatever propaganda that is being said by professors that have agendas that is not for the USA or any government for that matter. For all we know those Professors have been brainwashed by ISIS or some government other than our own. I figure that you don’t believe in socialism because you had the mental character to stand up and comment but a lot of youths do believe in socialism as does the democratic party. This belief has caused many nations to crumble like Venezuela has done. If you try to explain to them this like I am doing to you they get mad at you. I am just an old retired country boy living off SS taking in odd jobs to survive and not asking anyone for handouts. I served my country and believe each person has depend only on themselves. BTW SS is not a hand out I paid in for 45 years.
Actually many professors are VERY Conservative; most of mine were. Also, I lost many of my relatives fighting the NAZIs only to have them being resurrected in the USA and the government not arresting them for treason. As for comment #8, I took it as tongue in cheek poke at EVERYONE regardless of politics who automatically think the opposition is evil. If I thought that I would classify everyone who voted for Trump, a self proclaim sexual predator, as a sexual predator. I know this isn’t true but as a “Snowflake” who only watches FOX, I would believe this. Thank goodness I’m a Socialist! As a Socialist, I have never believed in a free ride, everyone should contribute to society and pay their fair share of taxes, no welfare for the wealthy.
This was definitely NOT a political article and it’s just about the big difference between most of the kids we’re raising today in America and the way the Greatest Generation was raised
Except the article didn’t say that, or anything like it. It was making the point that you can disagree with somebody without having to demonize them and believe they’re some kind of malevolent lunatic.
I think you defined a type of snowflake for me. Someone who does demonize anyone who dare disagree with them. People in a rut and think they understand, until its too late will never come out of their comfort zone. We all have one, but ours is for a future.
8 is more about learning to get along with others even if you don’t agree on something. I would say that is a life skill.
I would say that learning to make clothes by sewing, weave, knit or crochet would be another life skill. Might even learn how to focus on a task learning to do these things. Most today do not have any focus….. jump from one thing to another never finishing anything. (jobs etc)
I laughed my way through this list. It’s funny, because it’s so true!
I’m happy you never used the term millennial. Aside from the the fact that the term gets misused so much, especially when talking of snowflakes, since the youngest of the millennials are of the age to graduate from college. Likewise, I know people in their 60s who lack many of the items on the list. Heck, my late mom-in-law couldn’t operate a sewing machine, though she could hand stitch decently, and that’s true for a lot of women my age. I’ve asked. My late wife had a sewing machine, and while I can sew a little (learned from my mom), my mom always set everything up, and I haven’t yet gotten that part right so I can do the rest.
My son’s in elementary school in an affluent area. While I see some snowflakes in the making there, I also see a lot of resilient kids that will never make the news or need a “safe space.” I agree that there’s many items on your list that they need to learn, and many are learning them as they go, assuming that their parents have these skills to pass on, which in some cases is a problem. At the same time, they’re of the YouTube generation and if they want to learn something, there’s a dozen or more videos on how to do it.
I’m of an age where I’ve adjusted the carburetor and timing using a timing light, but unless you’re playing with an old car, that’s a lost skill that probably won’t come back. The babies being born may never need to learn to drive a car as the driverless vehicle technology may be mature by the time they reach 16 (scary thought, eh?), and the driverless Uber or Lyft may be ubiquitous enough that it might be more cost-effective in the city to just use those instead of even owning a car. Even now, one of my cars has a Fix-A-Flat can instead of a space-saver spare, and a phone number to call if that doesn’t work.
Yes, I realize that if the SHTF, a lot of this will go away and people may be lacking in basic transportation dependent upon the situation.
I will take issue with your claim that if you drop your cell phone in the lake, you’ve lost everything. When I snap a picture, it gets sent to Amazon, Google and Dropbox clouds automagically. My list of contacts is held by Google. My emails are in the cloud (AOL & Google dependent upon account…work is Microsoft Azure). Most of my data is in the cloud, so I wouldn’t lose a whole lot that couldn’t be restored easily. And I go to Snapfish and do picture books of our travels and such, so I have paper copies nicely formatted and captioned. And as to writing a paper letter, writing a good email takes the same skills.
Btw, in my son’s public elementary school, they do teach writing letters with salutations, etc, as well as other types of papers. Of course, they also say the US and the Texas Pledge of Allegiance, which is more than I can say from my school days. We never said the Texas Pledge.
HOOOOORAY on 8, 9 and 10. It is time for us to set aside our differences, at least on the surface and come BACK together to make our nation what it once was. We are lost and drifting in a sea of muck. Where have all the STATESMEN gone??? “A long time passing.” “Long time ago.” “When will they ever learn”???? We need leaders that respect law and rule. We need leaders that do their job, not just be there to feed their egos. The LIFE SKILL in number 8 is the ability to do it and get along. It is too easy to criticize and shut the other side out as idiots. There is SOME good in ALL opinions.
Making mistakes and reasoning out a solution is the road to common sense. That’s why it has become a super power because rather that reason the younger generation has turned to blame!
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
I went to college and didn’t serve in the military but had a dad who was handy and skilled–he survived the Great Depression fixing cars and mowing lawns, He DID serve, and went on to become a self-taught engineer in the aerospace industry. That’s partly what it takes–having a good role model. Parents today need to discourage their chidren from buying into our pervasive consumptive consumer culture. After college I applied some of my dad’s attributes and skills to my daily life. I’ve always been a bootstrapper. I have contributed two pieces (so far) to Ask a Prepper on how to build things that make us more self-reliant. One thing I learned from dad is that you can do just about anything you set your mind to doing.
Haha! This is a great article! And so true! And I am a “leftie”. I don’t usually agree with far right politics but I do listen and discuss. Most of the time we agree to disagree and move on. I have taught both my “this generation” daughters all of these skills because they are life skills that are needed.
Great info as usual !! Always look forward to your information. Thanks
You said, “#10. Maybe the worst thing about snowflakes is that nothing is ever their fault. When they mess up it’s always because their professor said something they disagreed with, or their grade school teacher yelled at them, or mom and dad told them Santa isn’t real. They seem to have an excuse for everything.” I thin you just described our POTUS. I think you’re missing some of what it is to be a snowflake. You might want to watch the POTUS more often thinking through the framework you’ve presented here.
Funny thing about that is even if he is annoying, he’s actually trying to keep his campaign promises. And he doesn’t apologize for America, like the last one. And his annoying habits are PLANNED….just to make the other side wig out. And how about ol’ Hillary trying to blame losing on just about everything EXCEPT herself?
Lots of good young people out there, I am old and have no kids but most of my nieces and nephews are great. My favorite nephew and niece grew up in a badly broken home, he runs a track crew for Burlington Northern and she is a psychologist who smokes a better brisket than me! My sweety’s kids are great, too, one of her boys teaches school in a village in Kenya, the other is a biologist with the forest service. None of these kids grew up other than working class, mind you.
So far as being able to have a civil discussion, most of us old poots are worse than any kid I know, come on, be honest, we are all a bunch of know- it- alls.
Generation Kill by Evan Wright is an interesting book, a good look at the kids who led W’s invasion into Iraq (talk about SHTF and TEOTWAWKI). I like the way the young Marines deal with their differing backgrounds and outlooks. Pretty good little TV series,too.
My friends, some younger than I, cringe at the thought of not being able to fend for ourselves. The government is not our baby sitter and can’t do everything for us. That is something the flakes do not realize. Even more so, they do not realize just how “broke”, monetarily, the government is. All 10 ideas presented are important. As said, though, #10 is the biggest, and the best of them all. Now to get the flakes to see it that way.
To define a snowflake is someone who is delicate and melts away at any source of opposition to any situation of life. Can’t take the tough times without shrinking like a coward. Much like snow just melts when it is above 32 degrees. If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen. Wears their feelings on their shoulders and is offended to anyone and about anything that goes against what they stand for or believe which is everyone is a winner type mentality. This just isn’t reality and therefore snowflakes seem to be void of reality. So anything real comes their way they are too terrified to face it.
To the Socialist who posted earlier…. I guess your really NOT a Socialist and more a Conservative. Glad for that. I can see how they are manipulating it now. A True Conservative believes they pay their own way but they do this thru making things or growing things to sell to make a living. This is all taken away in the Socialist type government. It is the Government that you work for and and then they take back most of what you make via Taxes and they also reap the rewards of the money you made for Them. You are not able to compete with them on your own and must work for little pay and barely make ends meet. I take it you do not realize what True Capitalism is. It is where the people have the right to start a business and compete with others without government interference (taxes, licenses etc) to earn a living for themselves and later pass that business on to their children and NOT pay any to do that. Government is not supposed to Rule US we are to Rule them in a Republic. We are not a Democracy we are a Republic. You have been Tricked to think that we are a Democracy…… it is all part of the plan of the left and each year goes by and they teach our children more and more that we are a Democracy and not a Republic. But first they must make you weak and unable to stand up to them. That shall soon end. That is why they rewrite history and now have been tearing down statues. If you and the other young people knew what they are trying to get to you would most likely drop everything and run to the conservative side of things real quick. Those Nazis your family fell to in the war are the ones your standing up for now as a Socialist. If they make it there you might just be one of the ones they put in a gas chamber to get to their goal to stop global warming.
As I receive more and more of these articles, I realize why most of us prep alone instead of making good-hearted groups of people that wish to help each other in times of need. I canned over 100 jars out of my garden and stocked as many prepper items as I could afford this year. Yet at Xmas I used a home remedy for my wife’s broken and infected tooth that I got from this site. I was laughed at by my kin at our Xmas gathering for still being a prepper, although my sister has two freezers full of deer meat and makes her own wine. My oldest son was a snowflake and after two tries at college dropped out (with all A’s) and was coddled by his mother for years until I finally cut him off and would allow only food to make sure his family (5 kids/ three mothers) were fed. Finally at the young age of 27, he is able to support himself with minimal assistance. As stated before the reason to prep is self preservation, but from your replies here leaves little doubt about how neighborly you all will be. I have lived around thugs, drug addicts and thieves most of my life and self chose to remove them from my life. For this reason, I have been collecting #2 coon traps to place around my property and amassed wood pile. Looks like its time to start buying bear traps. Tis a sad and lonely existance when even our own prepper family starts to fall apart. By the way the mixture of cloves and nutmeg and coconut oil worked great to get my wife thru Xmas when all traditional means were closed (prepping in action) Merry Xmas, Claude.
i’m 15 years old,use tech a lot (i live extremely far away from anyone who i could hang out with) i’m not fragile at all,i never get offended,sure i get angry but only when someone disrespects my friends or family,i dont think tech has much to do with my generation being so fragile and mentally weak,from what i’ve seen its from sheltering
Well said young prepper! Snowflake-ism isn’t an age it’s a state of fragility brought on by a false sense of self esteem and being sheltered!
i was primarily trying to drive the point of technology not being the root of snowflakes,but i agree with you as well