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America Street USA a series of programs produced by Radio Station JF Jacey FM at Foothill College Los Altos California. But I don't have a list just people who were here were. Well I think this situation in the city of Sunnyvale California there is a street named America street. Families of many different backgrounds live on the street and in the immediate neighborhood. It's a melting pot of America in miniature. What are the feelings or the attitudes the texture of life on America street. What do these Americans think about America as it is today. For if we are to approach the reality of the American experiment in democracy we must
know understand and respond to the opinions of America St.. In this series of programs we ask you to imagine that you are overhearing a discussion among the residents of America straight as occasionally compared and contrasted with informed opinion from other sources. Today's topic youth in America. With.
Us. Whether or not the term generation gap was invented recently the fact of differences between generations has existed throughout history. Youth is traditionally idealistic and ignorant. Age has the wisdom of its years but often is rigid or timid in the face of new problems. Our question is do the current differences between the generations indicate a significant change in the direction and values of America. Is the older generation failing to pass on the important values to the younger. What kind of discipline should be taught. Is the affluent society somehow corrupting the youth or has the older generation created a world which the younger generation for good reason finds intolerable for today's program. We asked several young college men to add their company. We begin with the opinions of
America St.. You know that you need more discipline. Hope you're right here. There are kids in this thing that I feel this way. I think children respond and I think it's respond to the rules even if they don't. After all second time they're trying to create some situation that you have to fight. I don't I don't I don't know whether it's a lack of distance from the lack of example on your language you think it's a little seems a little bit hard for me. I mean I think I can see over a father who brags about cheerleading comes back to expect anything but some dishonesty from his children who chuckles when he beats a traffic
cop or the highway patrol the wealthy expect the kids to do this is an example. You think parents should just display more discipline perhaps. How would you find this. This is the Spare the rod and spoil the child. Philosophy is one thing I think. I think that being parents and I am not chums is another unique like heritage and this is. What I see on that fire. Chance happened. To. My parents who were also very confused so I should. Say.
Because. They were disciplined. Yeah I'm much stricter. Than my. Solution. Why is it you think it's because you wanted a letter usually because I thought it was not because I particularly outweighs things that I think. That I really do think. This. High school. College. Hires. As a group are giving away the law should be. I think so far. There's. Nothing. Right now I'd say. Because imagine finally meeting. And having actual. Things. Happen. To. Them driving. That. He has an. Active. Child. You think that most children are caught up to much they have to eat today. I think probably parents today we have more
money to spend tend to indulge or Jordan more but I think the kids today are growing up in a rapidly changing world and I are in a state of confusion. Not the children but the world and it is a result of that. I think their attacker wrote a whole new it's a tougher world today with technological advances and it was when when we were the age that you were you know kids are really under that much pressure is over. Robert Reed psychiatrist I see children fraught with pressure readings I think that's true. I think they're under pressure which causes anxiety and pressure I think is can be to several ways so often posed and posed by parents external pressures school etc. there are so many things to do and the aim is to excel that so that they feel pressure from all directions in the imposing on themselves.
Do you think there should be more disappointed people trying to have a moral breakdown in the fiber of American news that's due to lack of discipline in the field. I think sometimes the family. I don't know whether this is a lack of discipline and such but I think that sometime down from the fact that it is not a well close closely knit family and that maybe this is due to lack of discipline. But I think most families try to administer discipline I think they do. I think family are conscientious of this and do try to do this. Now on some of the comments by several young men the only thing I can say about about that is tell you what happened in my house in my home. Like the discipline the discipline that was administered to me was erratic at best spotty you know. And it
didn't have it wasn't consistent. You know at the way it was administered when it was administered You know like one parent would discipline me one minute and be patting me on the head the next or one parent should discipline me. And they didn't. Or they did and they shouldn't have. You know like I can live off to my parents you know say almost anything I want to and get away with it. Ninety nine times out of 100 and the older I get it's almost 100 percent. You see for some reason I don't know why. The power thing in my family was really strange like my mother usurped the position a family had from my father. I'll begin with my father's a weak person a child almost. He's really groovy man. You know but he's a child as you know too as of about what it boils down to is it I've always had to make my own decisions and discipline myself you know because I couldn't rely on my parents anough you know to make help me make decisions I would discipline me when I made wrong decisions. So I had to develop my
own sense of right and wrong. My parents never really got mad at me for coming home too late. It was just a question of they were worried if I can ever be gay i can ever remember being disciplined becoming too late. If I was a father and said that my son needs more discipline. Well who's supposed to discipline him. But the father and the guy's got no one to blame but himself. Now whether he did it the wrong way or the right ways is up to him. I felt that the way I was raised I you know I had enough discipline that a simple thing and I don't want to say I know the difference between right and wrong but that's too general I think that. Discipline is something that goes beyond knowing the difference between right and wrong it's a matter of knowing what is the right thing to do and what is the risk of the wrong thing to do. A simple matter of OK you're not coming home for dinner well don't just run off and go out with a gang on the Hill and get smashed or you know go out to the
library and study or you know go out to a movie and don't call home I think discipline is something maybe you could call a common courtesy towards everyone else. I think if each person would show more courtesy toward another person you would find a lot less troubles going. We return to America straight through the problems which we never had before here. You know how many years now it seems who how many 30 30 they have a living have been well there's no depression if they don't they don't really need your help. But I'm sorry you should have known I was nice you get through do you know I don't like to let people know I was racist. We don't have that problem. We would we would and we didn't know what we didn't like that we get to get it. But now they want to hear about this. Today if you DO YOU GET TO
GO TO BE PRETTY most of the Time Lords were brought fresh and there was no question of going to work. Now when you say getting work do you mean that after school or after school or you know during Christmas vacation or Easter vacation and I guess as I say I am traumatized by having grown up on the depression. But I think young people today don't feel the urgency. Or. Respect for. Bernie and you probably didn't. Growing up at that time. Now I think if I come play right why is it that why does it come to these are these because parents want to give their kids a place and in what is it why are they getting these things obviously but they must be getting somebody. Well here we're going to time this from the beginning.
If you have all the comforts of life it's pretty hard to persuade somebody that they have to work in order to eat. If you live in a depression and depression type of depression then the children and parents alike are thinking in terms of or their right to survival kind of thing say how the heck you're going to sell a guy that attitude when he knows that everything's pretty well laid out for but and so I don't blame this generation for that at all. You know so you have to start going to build a character develop character but I think here again you're going to have these other climates that exist in this generation which have a bearing on it. Some of it was good. So what if I get a job and I work out of operation I'll be all into the army and I have to spend so much time and you know the
chances are there is a chance that I'll never really be able to achieve my goals just that devil may care attitude about making sure the generation resets this interruption in their life and this has to be cut idea somewhat with this attitude. Live today we die tomorrow kills the spirit and the stampede writes a lot of stuff the kids don't have. A CHANCE TO DO know that you know so now they've got to find different things to do. Yet another thing too I think. Back in my day. You find as a child you vented ventured home. Games are games young toys in fact any toys or cheese boxes of stuff. Now these I mean I mean they make the scale a lot of it was really not until you do it to a child's imagination and I mean everything's made for them.
It's easy for him and he had an easy that way and it doesn't leave them. I mean so many and they don't have the. Chance to. Show their ability and we could do a lot of good with this stuff you know to think about when they're about ready to move on their own say 18 19 20 21. Do you think they have it easier than you did when you had to make it on your own finally. Well I think so in one respect because it's different it's easier to get colleagues here at your school you know being out meeting was when I. When I was. Going to school other than that no use I think you'll have more advantages not your course this is not going to happen this time. Progress Yeah you know we're progressing so we could. Really discipline the homeless today even there and there is still a danger to be more disciplined more you know stricter action with the parents.
Yeah right there because we can maybe that's lot of problems that they're having because I think it is because any child growing up if they're not. You know brought up under supervision. So what I mean if they do something and I suppose that it would be better. I mean they have to be taught. And I think the fact that like I said a while ago the Times of progress or to the point where both. Parents of the family have to work I think this is not good because. Children are grown so much I don't think they have the opportunity to go out and get jobs to be a little self reliant. I think you know I think the parents who made that mistake with their kids. I think this is kind of I think. A good deal accounts for the. Problems we have with the youngsters you know they want to run. Everything. And I think a
long time ago their parents kind of gave up and let in there. I think parents are afraid of their kids and you think it was great and they should have more discipline I think they should. Well I think they should be able to tell their children at the age of say 15 or 16 I mean I think you better stay home tonight not go out and not be afraid to say that today because they're going to because they're afraid of what the children will do or are afraid of what the children will think of the way you think. Didn't kids know that it is no easier than when you were children with the question. But there are a lot more managers to do that because parents try to give them all the advantages or is it just cause I feel that's the one thing going across as when I was a child radio's infancy and I think that. Radio has gone a long way television of course has come into its own. I was never exposed to this as a child I think. In a lot it gets at easier it only you know they have it easier this way they have it easier in
transportation I don't dad and I are very much the way that the cost of transportation has dropped considerably everybody has a car today. When I was a kid we didn't have a car you think you're offered so many more opportunities between automobiles airplane travel which is relatively inexpensive today having an interior Ellie they have a bit of that have much weight but not emotionally so I think they're pressured more. Oh yikes talk about wasting precious or is it push. Ideal and I think they're great at living at Mesa days much faster than it used to be houses are much closer. People are more numerous than in any one given area. This used to be wide open country at one not too long ago. You think most parents are lacking discipline nowadays. Yes I do and I don't agree with it but I do. I don't think that kids are smarter I don't think that.
I mean I'm not all for you know just letting them run wild in everything but I don't think that's the problem at all. I happen to be bored with you today and I think they have a heck of a row to hoe frankly and I don't think we've done so well by them and I think they're going to have. I think they're on the right track and I have a lot of respect for them they're a heck of a lot smarter than we Where are are and I think they're great I just think materially they've had more than we had but I don't think I think they have also a lot more responsibility and. They want a change and I think some further remarks by some representatives of the younger generation. The problem the generation gap is the older generation. Is it. If there's something wrong with us where did we get out of teaching from. We had to get it from the older people or what they didn't tell us.
But I think looking at it practically if people would quit worrying about everyone else and worry about their own problems or worry about their own family then great. I think maybe the generation gap would go down. Sure I can see it and see it in my family. There are certain things that my dad asks me or or says which I can say is an opinion just from the way he was raised. But yet it gets back that he still realizes that I am a person I have my feelings I have my beliefs. And times are going to change. You know whether anyone likes it or not there's always going to be some sort of a gap where they call a generation gap or differences of opinion it's always going to be I don't know. Man better get in the spirit of things even though the writing is there so. I know it's not just here. I know what my parents met when they told me. Don't be sorry if I didn't
do the things they wanted to do. Anyway no seriously I wish I had learned. Discipline I know well what they make is now i'm actually trying to accomplish things not finding it difficult because I can't discipline myself their self discipline I think. But the thing about it is that my parents were sort of powerless to. Teach me. You know they were trying to teach me self-discipline causing discipline. From without on me but somehow it didn't work. Just once again the opinions of American street but I think a lot of the children do you think that kids nowadays have it too easy for them. I don't know how you can address yourself so generally to a question because I think you have to be more specific. I like to practice well these units are no more permissive seemed a likely story. Some say this is from permissive attitudes and. Placed on them by the
parents who were not strict enough. No I think authoritarianism this is is evil and I think that the children are acting the way they do because it's the world in which we live. Because if the world as it is exists today and I think that authoritarian and it too is what makes the world seem any different to them. Do you feel you must use a respect for money say no then you know that most children. But. I would say that many young people today turn their backs on materialism and I think that's one of the things that makes them the way they are it's the fact that they seem too much materialist in the ground and this is what they reject. I didn't get to have it here today. Too easy right. This is the way I honestly feel about this
issue between adult and child and kids I honestly feel are 25 years older that I'm right that my generation of the one I that I what I've been now it's caught in between in between the establishment and the kids. We don't agree with the kids. In fact I disagree with the kids on quite a bit. But I disagree with establishment too and you're caught right in the middle as far as the kids have it easier now I don't think I think it's rougher from the standpoint that they've got to they're forced right now to grow up. Kids nowadays are forced to grow up a lot faster than they were when I was a kid when I was a kid it was only just when you play baseball you didn't worry about the bomb didn't worry too much too much anyway because your parents might worry about it but didn't worry about going to war you didn't worry about the fact that there was a Negro people were getting fed. You didn't do these things didn't bother you could think they were an outside world to you they didn't fit in as a defector where you are in your own little world. Now kids are brought up their schools are forced integration are there are there
they're having problems with a there she told a boy you've got to treat this guy nicer or I don't associate with this guy or one thing or another they're brought up and they know these problems before they're old enough to realize you know what they really mean and therefore they're kind of forced to they just want to grow up a little faster. They have to worry about serving in Vietnam. They have to worry about just tons of things that you know that I believe a child should have to face until he's really capable of coping with them with it with these things with his own conscience. Do today's kids have an easier. Your generation certainly have but I don't think they have it they have to face with great comfort. Much. With It. And they brought up with. That among other young people. So they were.
Having to be rejecting. A set of values my parents taught me because. This is this is. Much more difficult. Was. The. Only. Problem. That is once you. What you have in your future you. Just. Have to find it very difficult for young people to learn. And I think this may be another reason I have a cause for taking. Advantage of. The gas. Money because of the frequent. Conflicts in society today. But there is an age when your kids reach when you just cannot enforce your morals either you can have them grow up under you as far as I can tell that shooting guns is bad and killing people is bad and going out and doing anything you want on the first date or anything like that you can you can you can break it up that way but there comes a time you gotta let go and you just gotta see it what you do because otherwise you try to live their lives for oh say what age would you say you know this or you would decide this or is it just going to be.
Well I'm not an age or just a time. Well adolescence though the word adolescence always infers that that's the transfer period between there between youngsters when they were told what to do and the time when they really want to do their own and they're fighting back you have the hardest time of a child and a past life believe me. I can remember my and I gave my mother one heck of a time I just I just refused to do a. But as far as actual age that depends on the individual. But if you have enough faith and enough trust in your kids and brought them up the way it is really the way you feel that way other people feel the way you feel is correct. You can let go almost if you should be able to feel you can let go at almost any time and have that child or that son or daughter do the right day and but you must let them try it for themselves. This has been America Street USA one of a series of programs investigating what Americans think about America as it is today produced under a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by Jeff Osborne had a radio
America Street, U.S.A.
Episode Number
Generation Gap
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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APA: America Street, U.S.A.; 3; Generation Gap. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from