VINSON: Next generation woefully lacks gardening skills

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Recently, a friend that he felt as though we – American society collectively – are raising a generation of modern-day morons and imbeciles.

Though once used as clinical terms to define individuals afflicted with a certain level of mental defect, the psychiatric profession, for the most part, has ceased using the terms “moron” and “imbecile” because of the offensive connotations.

However, Webster’s Dictionary defines moron as a foolish or stupid person and imbecile as a stupid person.

Suffice it to say that even though those terms might not be the wisest or most appropriate choice of words, moron and imbecile are part of our everyday vernacular.

In regard to what my friend said, one is forced to ponder: Just how does today’s youth,  measure up to past generations?

Regarding technological skills, Generation Z, as they are called, comprises whiz kids.

From cell phones, text messaging, computers, communication and games, space research and travel, if it has a keyboard, they can do it.

I found it a bit humorous when a lady friend, who could be described as senior citizen, recently told me she had purchased a new iPhone and had to go out of town to attend a class instructing her how to use her new phone.

Another eye-opening incident was when I was visiting with a family one night. Everyone was inside the house, and supper was on the table.

After hollering upstairs and telling the kids supper was ready, to no avail, the mother finally had to text her kids to come downstairs for supper. Soon as the mother texted, there came the children hurrying down the steps.

That’s a long way from the rotary-dial landline with which my generation grew up.

Back then, all it took were a working index finger and the ability to comprehend a seven-digit number.

We even had party lines, which allowed the neighbors to eavesdrop on whoever else was talking. Though tackily invasive, it kept the community up to date on the latest news – or, at least, the latest gossip.

Still, many of those in a higher economic bracket had private lines that afforded them more privacy.

As I have said in previous columns, a majority of today’s society, regardless of age, own cell phones and use them on a daily basis.

When it comes to conducting business, you’re out of the loop if you can’t utilize a cell phone, unless, of course, you’re in an independent enough position – a wealthy retiree, for example – to sit at home all day, everyday, and answer incoming phone calls on your landline.

Talking about supper, though, if mom is too tired to cook, she has the option of calling any one of a number of pizza chains and having a large vegetarian pizza delivered to the family home.

A vegetarian pizza is usually made up of vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and mushrooms. We know that every healthy person can consume a vegetarian pizza, but how many of today’s generation have the skill to break ground with a hoe, plow, or tiller, and plant, grow and harvest some of the vegetables necessary to make such a pizza?

We all must agree that someone has to plant, grow and harvest the vegetables we consume.

God forbid. Just attempt to imagine the economic situation in America getting so bad that a majority of the population is forced to live off the land. With a few basic skills, they might just be able to tough it out.

Without these skills, they are doomed to either perish or take up a life of crime.

How’s this for a thought: Legislators pass a bill mandating that every high school student in Tennessee, before graduating and receiving a diploma, take a least one semester of basic gardening.

Some might call the above suggestion stupid. If so, that’s fine.

In the meantime, however, let’s not become a society of morons.
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Members Opinions:
February 12, 2013 at 9:59pm
I do agree with your comical ending point about there being a lack of gardeners that will be produced out of Generation Z. In their defense though I will say that I have never met any teenager or even a person in there twenties that just took up gardening as their hobby. That may be something that as a person grows older may steadily become more of a recreational hobby. I do believe the country came down to where all had to live off the land those of Generation Z would end up figuring out how to live off the land.

Yes this generation is bound to its technologies such as phones and computers, and yes at times they make the generation look needy or even like “morons and imbeciles”. If it really came down to this Generation Z having to figure out something such as gardening without the use of technology I do believe it would be a bit of a tough transition. In the end they would prevail and overcome just as previous generations have when they were “imbeciles” for having their latest technology that made them less efficient than previous generations. The technologies we create are helping us more than they hurt, but if we were to ever lose them and depend on the land for survival they would prevail.
February 14, 2013 at 12:24pm
Chances of "survival" follow the story of "The three Little Pigs" quite well with "The Greatest Generation" building the house of brick and "Generation Z" building a house of straw.
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