I'm at an age where many of my peers, and myself, have begun the process of looking for a significant other.
Whether to marry, or co-habit with, we all seem to be looking for someone to provide us comfort and love as we age. Engagements have caught on, like a spark to dry tinder, in the Facebook realm. It seems that every week there's a new, deliriously happy, couple staring up at me from my mini feed. And that's awesome.
But, for every engaged couple, there are many more single folks who're continually looking for that "spark." For some, it can become downright discouraging.
I've seen more than a few posts which can be filed under the 'Dear Mr./Mrs. Right, where are you?' category. Because everyone wants to feel like they're enough. Everyone wants to know that they're loved, right? It's been a subject I've thought a lot about in the past couple years.
Anyway, the most recent one went a little something like this...
"What ever happened to the guys who appreciate a lady with class, and priorities?"
Something along those lines.
Well...I have an answer. And please forgive me, because this post will be a bit of a soapbox, so if you aren't a fan of those kind of posts, I suggest you stop right here.
What ever happened to the good guys, who like good girls?
What ever happened to gentleman? What ever happened to classy ladies?
The answer is simple. Look around. Look at your society, and look at your families.
The answer to my friend's question lies within the things we choose to champion, and the values we've been raised with as a culture.
Values are the litmus test, and what follows after is a simple 'cause and effect' scenario.
My generation was told that we're simply animals. That sex was recreational, and that we should indulge every urge because it's the "natural" thing to do.
We were told that intimate relationships are foundationally about feelings, not morals.
We were told that drugs and partying are the ultimate highs.
We were taught that it wasn't ok to be good at something, if someone else wasn't. It may make them feel inadequate.
We were taught that life is all about esteeming ourselves first, and others second.
We were taught that life is about making ourselves as comfortable as possible before we die, after all...it only happens once, right? Live it up.
We were led to believe that all authority is bad, and repressive.
These values, which have been imprinted upon my generation's soul, have consequences. Very real consequences.
When we were told that sex was not sacred but, rather, a commodity, it bred a generation of kids who are more sexually active. It also taught us that there was nothing special about sex within a relationship.
When we began to believe that relationships are about feelings, rather morals and character, we saw relationships crumble and divorces skyrocket. Because, when the feelings change (as feelings often do), there was nothing left to cling to.
When we bought the lie that drugs and partying were the ultimate high in life, we ended up with a generation of hollow addicts. We're left with a generation that has more than any generation in history, yet is more medicated and depressed than any generation in history.
When we were shamed for excelling, in the interest of catering to those who weren't as good at the same things, we bred a generation that accepts mediocrity. There's no need to work hard, to thrive, and to be a great citizen when the ones who are elevated are those of inferior talent.
When we accepted that it was our self that needed to be esteemed first, we created a generation of narcissistic, egocentric youth, indifferent to the suffering of the world.
When we were taught that life was about making ourselves comfortable, we created a generation which worships the religion of consumerism.
When we lost traditional authority, we gained a new one. Authority based not on wisdom, and experience, but whimsical thinking. When parents abdicated their responsibility to provide authority, and when we turned on religion, we became exactly what we were naturally bound to become without those structures...
So, you ask where the guys are that appreciate classy ladies?
You ask where the gentlemen are?
You ask what happened to commitment?
You ask what happened to genuine relationships?
When I was a part of a competitive music program, there was one thing which was drilled into my head from my freshman year all the way to graduation.
'Practice like you perform.'
Perhaps a more conventional version of this statement is, 'You reap what you sow.'
I submit to you that we haven't sown the seeds of gentlemen, commitment, classy ladies, or genuine relationships. In fact, we're reaping exactly what we have sown.
There are still those in the world that do offer the things, these status' on Facebook ask about. But they're becoming fewer each day, and will continue to do so until we plant a new kind of seed in our society.