Sunday, October 23, 2005

Where Are The Grownups?

In the two weeks since a recent football game, there have been letters to the editor in the local newspaper, articles in the same paper, and a thread on the newspaper discussion board, all bemoaning the conduct of the fans both inside and outside of the stadium. Virtually all of the letters and posts indicate that the problem is coming from "not just the college students", but from alumni and other adults as well. The phrase "not just the college students" is itself problematic, because it implies that the majority of the college students spend most of their time drunk off their asses. While this may not be true, it certainly seems as though it is, especially if one spends many evenings downtown. But that is not the subject I wish to address. I instead wish to address that the problem extends to people who should know better. People in their 20s, 30s, even 40s, who are supposed to be responsible, example-setting adults instead acting like overgrown and overage teenagers. This is a trend that I have noticed ever since I came to this town many years ago. Perhaps I had a sheltered childhood, but I recall that when I was a child, children acted like children, and adults were mature, considerate and responsible. Sure they had a good time now and then, but not at the expense of the rights of others. When I came to the university, I was astonished at how the other students acted; vandalizing dorms and apartments, partying noisily with no regard for neighbors, and getting drunk off their asses. After graduation, I noticed that the other "adults" in the area acted pretty much like the students. People who were perhaps students once, then graduated, but never really grew up. So we have a town where a lot of "adults" still act like teenagers. In fact, I think that my own teenagers are more mature and responsible than a lot of adults. I am sure that this is true not only locally, but throughout our nation. We are a "society of immaturity", and today's children have no one to look to for an example because their parents are still children. A week from now, we will see the ultimate display of this adult childishness...Halloween. Once a holiday for children to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating, it has now become a holiday for adults to dress up in stupid costumes and go out and get drunk off their asses, violating the law as well as other people's rights. Halloween now rivals New Year's as the top drinking holiday; a potentially highly dangerous situation...children trick-or-treating sharing the road with drunk "adult" drivers out partying. Please bring back the grownups. Our society needs some mature leadership.