(by Judah Friedman, Spectator.org) – This year has been one of the roughest years of my young adult life, and that is something as I have had many tough ones. I truly would like to blame it on someone else, but, in earnest, the only one who I look to is myself. I have been given everything, and, for the most part, blown it all; but, hey, you live and learn. In the past, it was always okay, because I could pick up the pieces rather quickly, but this time it has been very different.
For some reason, what once came easy wasn’t anymore, and the struggle became too much. I had to give up a lot, or a better way of saying it is: “much was taken away.” I was angry for a while, and quite depressed, as no eleventh hour miracle came knocking on my door. But a funny thing started to happen. What started out as anger had turned into acceptance, and that very acceptance, itself, turned into joy and ease.
I started to really enjoy the things that I think we are actually supposed to enjoy. I started to meet people who I never thought I would or wanted to meet. My world that had become so small was starting to become so huge. I wanted a bailout, but wouldn’t that put me in the same situation I was in before? I wanted the tax check in the mail that never seemed to be coming, even though, every day, I looked. I wanted what was yours to become mine because, hell, it seemed so much easier than trying to get my own. I wanted you to say, “You poor sap, I am sorry here you go.” But that did not happen, and I am so grateful that it did not.
I was forced to grow up and mature in ways that I really didn’t know that I could, or ever wanted to. I always wanted to be a Toys-R-Us kid. I get it, I do, and a lot of people out there are struggling as I am. But, I don’t want yours anymore because I am confident that I can make it on my own; and when I do, I would truly like to keep it this time. We have become a nation of addicts and Obama is promising to be the new dealer with the fix that we have come to need. All good dealers don’t want their addicts to get clean and then cut the dealer out of the picture. It is time for my generation to get sober, and realize it no longer needs the quick fix.
There is no better feeling than earning an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work. Sadly that isn’t the nature of many of us anymore. I have grown up in a period where everything was taken care of for us, and, unfortunately that has created a generation of pansies, myself included. If anyone should want Obama to win it’s me, because he is promising to give me something of yours, no questions asked. Hey, what is better than free money? If anybody should want what he promises it is I, and my generation. Why not, we have been taken care of very well, and really haven’t had to grow up much.
But I want to grow up and feel what it is like to be a man. I want to experience how my grandfather struggled to make it better for my father, and how my father struggled to make it better for me. I want to know what it is like to earn, and I want to know what it is like to save. I want to be helped up when I fall, but no longer do I want to be picked up. Struggle is the only thing that forces us to grow. If you take that out of the equation, you are left with what you have right now, a nation unprepared for the struggle. So, of course, someone who makes you a promise that he will feed you a fish, and not teach you how to fish, sounds good. But, I assure you, when you learn how to fish, the fish will taste so much better.
Judah Friedman is a writer in Los Angeles.
First published at Spectator.org on October 24, 2008. Reprinted here October 30, 2008 with permission from The American Spectator. Visit the website at Spectator.org.
1. What is the main idea of Judah Friedman’s commentary?
2. What does Judah mean when he says “I always wanted to be a Toys-R-Us kid”?
3. Do you agree or disagree with Judah’s assertion that “Struggle is the only thing that forces us to grow. If you take that out of the equation, you are left with what you have right now, a nation unprepared for the struggle. So, of course, someone who makes you a promise that he will feed you a fish, and not teach you how to fish, sounds good. But, I assure you, when you learn how to fish, the fish will taste so much better”? Explain your answer.