Encouragement in the Age of Entitlement

Modern youth have received many epithets, very few of which have been complimentary. Perhaps the most disparaging of these remains "The Entitlement Generation." This is the strongest opprobrium because it implies not simply a cosmetic flaw, a flaw in application, but an identity flaw, a flaw in how we see ourselves in relation to the world.

The "Entitlement Generation" believes that the world owes it on account of its existence. It has been groomed with participation ribbons, self-esteem boosters, and emotion-based grading scales. It has been prepared for a world that bends over backwards to ensure its comfort, creating simultaneously helpless and demanding individuals.

In many ways Ridgeview stands between its students and this entitlement attitude. When students desire accomplishment and teachers expect integrity, students ought to strive for academic and moral success. Indeed, the solution seems formulaic and perfect, at a glance.

However, we must be cautious not to ignore the possibility that some Ridgeview students may become card-carrying members of "Generation Me." Danger lies in taking a Ridgeview education for granted and underestimating the importance of camaraderie.

Ridgeview Classical Schools is a public school that offers a world-class education. When students struggle, parents and teachers work with them to offer solutions. If students earnestly ask for help, teachers generously dedicate their time. Most students see or speak to a member of the administration daily. This is certainly not the case at every school, but it becomes easy to take such a community for granted.

Thus, comes the paradox of parenting and teaching: creating necessary self-sufficiency without undeserved self-importance. This is why Ridgeview aims to teach character, and why every member of the community must cautiously guard against both arrogance and apathy.

Our students ought to be self-reflective citizens rather than participatory members of "Generation Me."

Mrs. StephensAlumni