TOO MUCH LIMELIGHT
It is a well-established fact thai the younger generation of today has a far larger share of the thought and conversation of the nation as a whole than heretofore (says ‘Oriel’ in the ‘New Zealand Herald’). It is the day of youth; youth is discussed in season and out of season, youth finds its ways into the newspapers, the puipit and the lecture hall, youth has its army of defenders and its army of critics; youth invades every walk of life, upsetting old traditions, disturbing the peace, and pretty generally getting itself talked about.
Have there been no young men in the world before that the novelty and the splendor of their escapades should be sounded irom Dan even unto Beersheba? And is this the sole era in which the vivacity and brilliance of enigmatic girlhood has dazzled the human race?
Of course not; yet the younger generation monopolises so much of the time, thought, and study of the world at large that it would seem indeed the first, only, and unique period in which anyone ever dared to be young. imagine what would have happened if in the Greek agora or the Roman forum men had met together for the purpose of discussing their children, how truly absurd it would have sounded in the ears of posterity.
Surrounded by the glowing marbles and glorious archi tecture of those days, picture to your self the aristocracy of the State holding up their hands in horror at the unmanageable conduct, the uncontrollable will and the harum scarum ways of their various sons and daughters.
I think we should have had the right to laugh at those worthy citizens whose groundless fears evoked such consternation in their hearts, for history would have told us that what they feared was an imaginary evil, would have shown us their progeny growing up to follow most probably in the footsteps of their fathers, and becoming ordinary, well-behaving citizens likewise.
But people in those days never discussed such things; they trained their youthful sons and daughters with a firm hand; the younger generation was never allowed to monopolise the thoughts of the nation until it had grown up to replace the old, won its laurels, done something worthy of achievement.
WHAT HAS YOUTH ACHIEVED?
Is not this the right way of looking at things after all? What in these days has youth achieved that the fame of its doings should command so wide a sphere of publicity? Is not youth merely enjoying itself as it was ever the way of youth to do, and if with more licence and more conventionality than formerly, is that not the fault mainly of its elders who have let out the reins too far and cannot by any manner of means pull them in again?
Youth is running a fast and furious race, champing at the bridle, gnawing at the bit, often flinging both aside in wild, untrammelled liberty; but youth will one day become an older horse, slowly returning to the ancient trough and the fodder in the home paddock.
Ever it has bsen the habit of youth to do exactly this, and ever at the end of the race you will find a sadder but a wiser horse, munching his hay and wondering if ths foal will put his foot in a rabbit burrow or fall headlong over a precipice.
We hear it said that youth today is a finer thing than ever before, that it is probing for itself, finding it can do with impunity what its forbears could not do. But nobody ever tells us what it is probing— probing, a very interesting word. Did that impatient foal carry a walking stick to sound the turf for potholes, or a rope to find the depth of the precipice before he fell? That would indeed be prbbing; but no, youth is not doing that. Youth is merely trying its paces; why, then, should it monopolise our thoughts?
Remember the old trough in the home paddock.
Perth Daily News - Thursday 17th May 1928