I don’t rant often, so please allow me this self indulgence.
As a teacher I am accountable to my students, my student’s parents, my administrator, my fellow teachers, and the State of California. There are standards I am expected to meet and if I fail there is more at stake than simply my job. People count on me to do my job and do it well. That said, no one has higher standards for my performance than I do. My expectations for myself exceed everything else. When I fall short, I am disappointed. When I am successful I am proud.
When I am published I will be accountable to my readers, my publisher, my editor, my agent, etc… but the same personal high expectations will apply. Even as an unpublished author I expect my work to be the best it can be.
I mention this because I do not see this same personal accountability in the current *generation. Most of them have a ‘good enough’ attitude. There is no pride of accomplishment. If they are not successful, it is always someone else’s fault. There is no drive to become better. No need for effort.
Is this the next generation of artists? No, it can’t be. An artist has vision and is willing to work toward that vision. Young adults who feel entitled to handouts do not know what it means to apply themselves in order to accomplish something. I have written two books and am finishing a third; even though they are not published, I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment about them. The current generation would consider me a failure because they only value the grade, the paycheck, the carrot, the external recognition. Without the drive to achieve or the ability to find validation from within, there cannot be real creativity or true quality.
Thank you for listening. I welcome any thoughts or responses. I hope that someone has a different opinion – it will give me a sense of hope.
*I am making a generalization. This does not apply to any specific person, nor does it encompass all members of this generation.