Have you sent your kids off to the war yet?
Written By Hanna Abyoid
There is a war raging in the capital cities of Australia and if your kids aren’t already engaged in it then chances are they may be about to enter into it or sadly they might already be wounded veterans and no one told you. Who sent them into battle? Who told them to enter into it? And who is going to pay for the war? Well sadly it’s you and I! What is the war? War against work!
There is no doubt that when a parent gets their first adrenalin hit of unconditional love it is a mind blowing drug. Of course you are going to love your kids! It’s a fundamental part of our DNA. Why do you tell them that they have to have a better life and a greater career than you have had thus far? What’s so wrong with you?
In Australia the baby boomers have not been called baby boomers for nothing! We have seen the best of times in the history of this country. Minimally affected by war famine or diseases, we have witnessed Olympic Games, travelled the globe, bought and sold houses for higher prices than our grandparents ever made in their life times while we lived in the appropriately named lucky country. So why does our generation believe we are so unlucky? And why do we urge our off spring to do better with their lives than we did? Was our upbringing so hard? Or as Australians, do we just look at what other people are doing for an occupation and just say “that’s got to be better than this”. Are we a nation of down under dogs? Our kids inevitably are the victims of this philosophy! We have set them up to fail and in doing so the consequential attrition will come back to haunt us! How many of us are going to work every day to entitle our aged 20 plus kids the right to occupy our over-priced houses because life didn’t stack up to the imagined futures that we encouraged them into?
Universities hacked right into our mainframes; they drove the tanks of this war straight into the battlefield of our kid’s school and mowed them down better and more efficiently than any call of duty game ever played on the flat screens you paid for. They didn’t need to hand out helmets or weapons just caps and gowns and with the stroke of a pen, your kid was committed to a debt between our government and themselves that no man may put asunder! Don’t blame the recruiters! They had to do it! They were in debt themselves they were committed to perpetuate the lie!
Countless career expos entice these kids in like snake charmers promising them a future with a job yet to be created. Yet to be realised! Yet to ever properly exist. If you doubt this? Next time you are in a taxi turn to the driver and ask “so tell me what degrees you have?” 9 times out of 10 they will have more than one. Chances are they won’t be born here but are happy to raise their kids in the best country in the world. Sure they would prefer jobs in their chosen field but in the meantime they are happy to drive cabs to put food on the table. I’ve never asked but I’m sure their parents didn’t intend them to be taxi drivers. However, I haven’t met a sad one yet.
Walk into a class room of high school kids and ask the question “Who wants to own their own house one day?” All hands will shoot straight up. Then ask “Who will build that house?” Watch the look on all those faces go blank like a computer screen with the plug kicked out.
Hair will always grow and need to be cut; people will eat meat that will need to be butchered, houses to be constructed but not our kids! Let somebody somewhere else’s kids do that job because my little one is too precious to do anything like that. The reason it is so hard attracting young folk into the workforce could be as close as our mirrors. You look at where you are in life now and how you make your money and you want to give your kid a navman hand up so they don’t have to suffer the way you did! Poor you!
You let teachers teach which is what teachers do, but have you actually checked while you were motivating your offspring to be the next master of the universe that they could actually write or spell or do the most basic mathematical calculation? If not? Then in their preparation for this war they might be poorly armed and highly vulnerable. It is not uncommon to find a high school graduate in this country who can’t spell the name of the suburb where they live, let alone write it.
In the old days and when I say the old days I’m talking way back in the medieval 1980s’ a dictionary might have had the definition of happiness as the “pursuit of a worthwhile goal”. Now days you can google happiness and it will say being in a state of being happy. Most kids these days have one state of happiness and one state of sadness. Happy is when they get what they want, sad is when they don’t. What have we created here people? My idea of happiness is still the pursuit of a worthwhile goal and I think the truth be known it’s the same for everybody else. Failure and recovery are the necessities of life. How will your children ever know a good day if they have never experienced a bad one? How can they appreciate reaching the top job if they didn’t experience the rungs on the way up?
We tell our sons and daughters they can be anything they want, but do we ever check that we are talking about the same things? You may say this because you think you are going to get a Doctor, Lawyer or Accountant in the family. Your child’s idea about being anything they want may be being chauffer driven down the main street of the Gold Coast in a convertible Ferrari with a topless super model under each arm puffing a Cuban cigar. Your child’s idea of becoming anything they want, could be their image on the front cover of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Who, or Zoo magazine with absolutely no opinion of which publication brings the most prestige.
We see statistics in the media of high youth unemployment twenty five percent of 18 – 25 year olds are out of work. What they don’t have next to the numbers is how many of those are ex University students who have started a course and dropped out and how much debt they are actually in. A 22 year old that did a business diploma in a Lego University (to have a cap and gown photo on your sideboard) is in $50k debt! He can’t get a job earning more than $35K per year which means at that rate he won’t be paying back his debt till he is at least 30. Considering the recent federal government proposed increase of 6% interest, he will be lucky to put a deposit on his first home before the age of 40! He’s a 22 year old ‘educated war veteran’ physiological maimed and crippled and not a single shot fired in anger. Maybe he should have been encouraged into the work force to get cash positive and decide what he liked before he made any decision or anyone had the chance to sign him up for a future of misery.
The answer to having your children with a steady income that is not bleeding you dry can be as far away as your computer. Before you recommend them a career, hit a job seeking web site and see how many jobs for that position are in your area. If everyone’s child attends University what impact does that have on the supply and demand for the professions they are being trained for?
This ‘War on Work’ is well under way and we will be fighting it in the streets of our cities for generations. We need to keep ourselves alive, because as the war architects and the ultimate benefactors of the infinitely consuming wounded we are obligated to pay for it. It will take some time to better arm our forces to ensure our children are battle ready and not battle fodder. First step is to take off our rose coloured Ray Bans and see our progeny for who they really are and assess their real world capabilities. When we are satisfied that we have produced the most efficient fighting machines that are possible best prepared and sufficiently equipped for the future, then we can retreat to our foxholes and throw them the keys to the war chest and say “it’s all yours now you can be my boss!”