"In recent years some have sketched a portrait of the current crop of twenty- and thirty-somethings that is low on greatness and high on traits like entitlement and narcissism. The Millennials, also known as Generation Y, may be a little callous, too: At a psychology conference in May, researchers presented data suggesting that college students today had significantly less “empathetic concern” than students of the 1980s."Even given the facilies of these tests, don't all of us from previous generations see this shift? Didn't we go out of our way, in fact, to raise our children to be more self-confident and have higher self-esteem than we did?
Although, "Compared with previous generations, for instance, the Millennials are more tolerant of people of other races and different sexual orientations, research suggests....on personality questionnaires, people born after 1970 are more likely than previous generations to see themselves as “an important person,” to say they’re confident and rate their self-esteem higher."
“The research converges on this: that individualism is increasing, that it’s more acceptable in the culture to focus on oneself, and not to worry so much about social rules,” said Jean M. Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University, an author of, Generation Me.” The NY Times article presents contrary opinions of such personality testing.
And does this not translate in some to entitlement? To the supreme ability to believe that if it is possible - if it can be done - I have very right to do it, no matter what "it" is? Women today have babies as late as 70 years of age (In India. Saw it on a documentary about late child bearers.). And those who cannot do it via IVF certainly feel entitled to find a surrogate to carry a child custom made for them or if all else fails to buy one from the country of their choice.
Adoption culture has swung 180 from the days of secrecy to boasting prodly about it with tee shirts that scream "I'm Paper Pregnant." And imported models seem to hold status like imported psorts cars owners relative to a their neighbor's Ford Focus. Foster kids are the bottom opf the barrel: used cars with dents and high mileage.
Funny thing is when they get their exotic imports home, models built to run on the Autobahn, they are surprised that they sputter in city stop and go traffic. Unlike a car that brings it's owner pride of ownership just by sitting sparkling new in the driveway, children need to behave in ways that are pleasing...and are expected to love and be grateful to those who have transplanted them from everything familiar to them. No tears for their losses, because that is upsetting to their new owners...er parents.
I used to feel a great deal of personal responsibility to present adoption in a positive light. I was this little self-appointed poster child for adoption, particularly transracial adoption. I always spoke of it in the most glowing terms, and minimized any possible issues arising from it (in my own life and in the lives of others). I learned this from my own parents (who always insisted they were “colorblind,” and told me that was how I should be, too), but it was as much for their benefit as for my own — I thought that people might misunderstand or, worse, pity me if they thought for a second that adoption wasn’t all sunshine and roses for all concerned....[now] I don’t walk around with my parents on a daily basis any longer; no one knows I’m part of a transracial adoption unless I volunteer it, and so I feel less pressure to present myself as evidence in its favor. I think that’s a good thing, and much healthier for me." Nikki, born in Seattle to Korean birthparents, adopted and raised in southern Oregon by Caucasian parents, and later reconnected with members of my birth family.Nikki's story includes being placed fro adoption by an abusive family who continued to abuse her sister with no social srvice intervention. Nikki's survivor guilt over this is plapable in her writings which include her reunion story in he forthcoming adoption anthology Somebody's Child (Bruce Gillespie and Lynne Van Luven, eds., TouchWood Editions, 2011).
Where will me-ism take us in the future in terms of socially acceptable family and parenting choices? It seems as if we have we have pretty well totally deconstructed the 1950's family of man and wife and their very own 2.3 children, born to them while still young and fertile. Will those who can continue to explore designer babies with insemination parties like that in the newest Jennifer Aniston movie...a theme already done by another Jennifer (Lopez) in The Back-up Plan?
[As an aside on films and repition, long before the 2007 film Autumn Rush (a drama with fairy tale elements, about a musical prodigy who uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents) starring Felicity's Keri Rusell as the mother...Rusell portrayed Ericka a young single mother who battled the patrnal grandparents of her child for custody because she put her child in day care while she attended college in the 1997 made for television movie When Innocence is Lost.]
But the future remins in doubt...
Will we have factories creating and gestating babies to order while people have all the sexual encounters with whomever they please with no fear of an accidental, barbarically "natural" conception? I think that would fill many dreams of parents but what then would that generation be like or want?
Will there ever be a revival of the old ways...or will that be left to small band of holdouts, living in the woods as survivalists and thought to be extremists and outcasts by the norm, but hunted for the purity of their eggs and sperm?
Is it beyond the capacity of the human species to overcome their desire or instinct for survivial and put themselves int he shoes of the childnren they are bringing into their lives? One elde rmother in the Dicovery documentary mentioned above said that she knows of no child who say "I'd rather not be here." But we do know of many who are not thrilled with what apepend to them after they arrived.