Tarry for the Nonce

July 5, 2007

Am I a Cantankerous Curmudgeon or What?

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 2:01 pm

My gmail account has a generic enough name (go figure) that I receive a lot of email for Laura Walkers. It seems that most of them have very attentive mothers, are fresh out of college, and are on a job hunt.

Be that as it may, I found the article about Mr. Rogers interesting, despite the fact that it was forwarded for someone else . . .

Fred Rogers, the late TV icon, told several generations of children that they were “special” just for being whoever they were. He meant well, and he was a sterling role model in many ways. But what often got lost in his self-esteem-building patter was the idea that being special comes from working hard and having high expectations for yourself . . .

Signs of narcissism among college students have been rising for 25 years, according to a recent study led by a San Diego State University psychologist. Obviously, Mr. Rogers alone can’t be blamed for this. But as Prof. Chance sees it, “he’s representative of a culture of excessive doting.”

The article goes on to criticize the trends that encourage children to address adults on a first-name basis and that focus on the lives of the children, to the exclusion of the adults. I think he has a point. I don’t blame Mr. Rogers, of course, but I do think that children are, as a whole, ridiculously indulged. I truly weary of rude children — and, since I’m spending a great deal of time wandering around downtown Downers Grove in the evening — I find pre-teen princesses particularly obnoxious. When parents stop chuckling indulgently when their little guttersnipes priss and preen and make a general nuisance of themselves, I’m sure we’ll see a marked improvement in society.

(And, for the record, my mother never allowed us to call adults by their first name, although I had my fair share of bratty moments.)



  1. Your comments are very special. There’s no one in whole wide world who’s blogging exactly like you.

    Comment by Howard R — July 5, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

  2. Howard does have a point… Although according to astronomers, and possibly physicists, there’s no special place or time in the universe…but that’s a whole other discussion.

    Comment by Andrew P. — July 6, 2007 @ 11:33 am

  3. We encourage our 2-year-old daughter to call adults by their first name, or at least we assume that it is acceptable behavior. I just don’t see how that specifically relates to other acts of indulgence or doting, which we may or may not excessively commit.

    Comment by Troy — July 11, 2007 @ 12:23 am

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