I was a teenage idiot


Well it's back to school time and there's one subject I wish could be taught to children and especially adolescents: manners.


Seriously.


I never thought I'd the see day where I'd be channeling the "old farts" who complain about teenagers and their shenanigans and blatant rudeness but here I am. It was only nine years ago that I graduated high school, so I'm still (if I do say so myself) youthful but I've noticed as each day passes by, my tolerance for idiotic behavior and crazy teenagers recedes further and further back.


Last week, I was walking my dog in the evening. A bunch of teenagers were gathered outside a house and as I walked past them, I heard one of them say "hello!" very cheerfully. Taking the high road and assuming (my mistake) that he was being polite and greeting me, I said hi back.


They all burst into fits of laughter and snickers, before calling me an idiot. I guess it was my fault; I didn't realize the guy was actually talking to someone on his cell phone.


But who cares?


Is it really that hard to just say hi back to me anyways, even if the original greeting wasn't intended for me?
I could have throttled them.


But it gets worse.


Yesterday, I was jogging and nearly done my route, so I was sweating up a storm, I'm sure. I passed by a local park and these two little brats, who couldn't have been more than ten years old, yelled out "Your face is really red and ugly! You should stop running."


Not even kidding.


And guess what? Their mom was standing there next to them, chuckling and not saying a word. Holy God, if the situation was reversed and this was 15 years ago and I was the little troll yelling that out, my mom would have flipped her lid and yanked me out of there faster than you can say corporal punishment.


I'm not sure if the putrid smell of sewage wafting through Humboldt is affecting the brains of our kids here or if their parents aren't doing enough at home but I know for certain that despite all the crazy mischief and shenanigans I pulled as a teenager, I was always nice to others. I could be a teenage moron at times and do dumb stuff and say stupid things, but when it came to others, I'm pretty sure I'd never beat down on someone for jogging or bust a gut if someone mistakenly said hi to me.


I had hopes that the younger generation was going to usher in the "polite era" but those pinheads at the park make me think otherwise.


Of course, it's not all kids. I've met plenty of nice, thoughtful and conversational children and teens since moving out here, and I've been more than happy to feature them in stories of mine.


But it's some kids. Not all, but some. And it's a damn shame.


Some Saskatchewan schools have started implementing The Roots of Empathy program, where people bring their babies into classrooms once a month to help teach children about empathy and feelings.


Yes, people, feelings. Remember those?


The students are asked to observe the infants, label their feelings and take note of their developments.


The program's mission, according to its website, is to "build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults."


Sounds perfect. Humboldt schools, gets this program into your classrooms post-haste please, before I encounter a four year old flipping me the bird.

CM

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