How Long Have People (Of All Ages) Been Selfish?

@Janey1966 (24127)
Carlisle, England
May 14, 2012 6:36am CST
I've often wondered this as - for example - if I were naughty at Mum's when younger I'd be "sent to my room" which, believe me, wasn't very nice in those days due to the fact we didn't have central heating then! Colder winters too! Nowadays kids are sent to their rooms in order to get out of the way of their parents. It's not the kids who want to be out of the way; it's the parents who want to be left alone to do what THEY want to do, whether it be drink themselves silly or go on Facebook or whatever. I've been playing "catch-up" by watching a few '60 Minute Makeovers' that I've recorded on television. On one particular episode it showed a guest room being decorated for the 5 year old who comes to stay with his grandparents. What struck me about it was that it was obvious he spent a lot of time in there judging by what was said. All on his own too. What on earth would he find to do by himself whilst his grandparents wallowed downstairs? I didn't even notice any toys, just a large bed. When asked if he liked his new room he replied, "Grrreeeaat!" in a not-so-convincing tone. I felt sorry for him. Where were the books his grandparents could read to him for crying out loud? This is why SOME kids today have a poor start in life because both their parents AND grandparents can't be bothered..and they leave it to the teachers. I've actually witnessed someone on television saying that very same thing. In other words; why should we educate our children, it's up to the teachers! I find this incredible, I really do. If these people "can't be bothered" why have kids in the first place?
5 people like this
13 responses
@inertia4 (26991)
• United States
14 May 12
I agree that parents today are not what they used to be. They should have never had kids in the first place. And since people are living longer these days, they want to be single longer. I do feel for these kids where they spend most of their time with the grand parents. I do understand that these days both parents have to work unlike years ago. And thats cool, but what about when they come hime from work? Why can they not spend time with their children. Since life is so busy today, then they should not have children. Also children are extremely expensive. It's not just when they're young, they get older and need to go to college and then the cars and parties and all. People should really think long and hard before having children. If you have any doubts, then that means do not have them.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
14 May 12
The child I mentioned is only at his grandparents when his mother has to go into hospital. I don't think he's there all the time. Mind you, now that a "make-over" has been done my guess the daughter AND the little boy will be there more often, such is my cynical view! I do agree that people should look into the expense of having children before committing. It's not as though there isn't any contraception out there..not like the old days when it was the norm to have at least 4 kids. Both my parents are from such families and, funnily enough, they both say that their parents were no good at looking after them either!
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (26991)
• United States
15 May 12
You know the funny thing though, I heard stories from my parents that when they were growing up they had nothing, they were poor. And they has lots of kids back in those days. I guess there was nothing else to do then. I only have a brother, so it's only me and him. But I wonder how our parents parents did it with no money. But they were prehistoric times to me anyway. You're right, there is tons of different birth controls out there. But I do see the new generation not getting into relationships like people did years ago. They also do not believe in marriage these days.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
15 May 12
The marriage thing has definitely fallen by the wayside, which is a shame. Having said that I'm glad my brother didn't marry the mother of his child as it (eventually) all ended in tears and she's no longer in Blackpool. She's gone back to her hometown with her fancy-man..and good riddance!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60425)
• United States
14 May 12
Because they think the kid will love them and then discover they are a lot of work... well, too bad, you had them!
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
14 May 12
Too right!
1 person likes this
• Jamaica
14 May 12
I agree with you!
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
6 Jun 12
Hiya Janey, Would have to agree what others have said that people have been selfish since the beginning of time. I lived in a very cold House when I was in England. There was no carpet on the floorboards either. Our Parents worked but earned very little and the furniture was never renewed till my Mom came into money just a little bit anyway. Our School was quite a tough one to go to there was never any real concern about us on many levels. It´s a shame about the child and his Grandparents being that way too. xxx
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
29 Sep 12
Hello! Another thing I can't stand..parents on their mobiles whilst their children want to attract their attention..and they get nowhere.
@derek_a (10903)
17 May 12
Hi Janey... I tend to think that at the end of the day, we all have a touch of selfishness. I give to charity when I can afford it because I feel good doing it. If it gave me a splitting headache every time, then I think I would avoid it! As a Zen practitioner I got the theory that if everybody is selfless and feel good, then they are selfish.. One state of mind, naturally has to come with the other! Therefore neither exists, except in our judgments and minds. I used to like to "escape" from my parent from time to time. Not so much to my bedroom but into our front room - far too cold up there.. Our living room was what many people have as a dining room now - this was when I was about 8-10 years old. There was a table and four chairs, a sideboard with a small 12 inch TV on top of it. Either side of the coal fire were too easy chairs when my parents would sit and watch programs like Panaorama and other boring stuff.. In the front room was our piano where I had to do my practice and our radiogram where I could play records. It had a bay window where my trainset was set up, and the sun was there most of the day so that it was reasonable warm. Well, it was better than watching boring stuff that they had on either one of two channels! And my mates would often come into the front room and my mother used to keep checking on the mess we were making!.. It was great, freezing on a cloudy day, when I was usually dragged out with Mum saying it was too cold and the electric fire that was in there was too expensive to put on. I didn't seem to care about the cold in those days. It was expected in houses. First thing in the morning in winter, always meant a lot of shivering would go on... We got over it though.. Happy days! There was always problems I guess, and today the problems have shifted with technology.. I guess it seems to be a touch of laziness where it's easier to let the machines do the entertaining.. _Derek
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
17 May 12
Hi Derek! I remember my windows (which weren't even double glazed then) being iced up on the INSIDE! I never once complained because it was the "norm" to have windows like that as it was a major luxury having central heating back in the 70s. Mum resisted until about 10 years ago as her gas heaters in two of the bedrooms and one at the bottom of the stairs were inadequate. Even now the central heating isn't on all the time although my Dad is 9 years older than Mum so it wouldn't be fair depriving him of heating if he's cold. Mum pays for the gas and electric you see. Dad does have a gas fire of course, and Mum has the more energy efficient one in the back. If she had the money she'd buy him one as well but I think she will get him one if it decides to pack up and break. So, the fact my bedroom (and my brother's was worse as his had an outside wall) was freezing in the 70s and much of the 80s made me realise that being downstairs was the place to be. I must say the construction of an extension in 1979 was a godsend as mine and Mum's entertainment was in there and Dad's telly was in the front. Danny (my brother) just came and went but would often play CDs in my room, funnily enough. It is still like that today (minus the second hi-fi that I brought to Carlisle) with the added benefit of Mum being able to pause live TV when Dad decides to stroll in to chat about nothing in particular. I did love it in the 70s when we were plunged into darkness during the Winter of Discontent. John didn't as he was much more reliant on "watching telly" than I was, so he wasn't keen on that period of his life. I just remember my brother cheating at Monopoly and Dad getting rather cross at him over it..oh, and we used to fight over the dog. It was imperative I had the dog for my game otherwise I wouldn't bother playing lol.
@riempie9 (1026)
• South Africa
16 May 12
You and I have lived long enough to know the answer to your question. Here it is. People have been selfish from the beginning of time. The parents in the olden days did not have a lot of toys for their kids, but they built kites together in the garage and went out to fly it. They were always involved with projects where the children enjoyed helping in the garden and enjoyed building things and working with their hands. Today it is all about electronic gadgets and iPods and the adults have to ask their grand kids how to work it. Children also don't learn discipline and respect. Get a nanny, is the feeling; let the teachers sort them out. If you have Mary Poppins for a nanny, it is good yes, but what about ordinary folk who can't afford to pay for a nanny?
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
17 May 12
You make some very good points there. I often wonder what would happen if there was another Winter of Discontent when black-outs were the norm. I don't think kids especially would cope too well without their electronic gadgets and I bet their parents haven't bothered stocking up with candles or games such as jigsaw puzzles to keep the little blighters entertained if the electricity was suddenly "turned off."
@nonersays (2685)
• United States
15 May 12
I agree. Some people act as if their children are a nuisance to them. More like a "pet" something to show off or pay attention to when THEY want to, not when the child wants it. My son can be very annoying under my feet, but I never send him away. I try to involve him in whatever I'm doing. Like today I was trying to make some polymer clay pendants, and he wanted to sit in my lap. So I put him in a chair beside me and gave him his play dough and a couple of the non-dangerous clay tools to play with and he was able to "play" with me even while I was getting something done. He is only ever SENT to his room if he's in trouble, or if its nap time. Now, sometimes he chooses to play in his room alone, but most of the time he wants to be where mommy or daddy or gramma are.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
15 May 12
Awww, I'm trying to picture your son playing by your side. What a sweet image that conjures up. It's such a shame that kids are in their rooms more often than spending time with the people who brought them into the world. Do you know what I mean?
@GreenMoo (11842)
15 May 12
I saw an astonishing story on the news the other day. I can't remember the details, but a mother was being prosecuted for harming her baby because it had wanted her attention whilst she was playing a Facebook game!
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
15 May 12
A good example of what I'm on about. Shocking isn't it?
• China
15 May 12
I dare say It is common phenomena here that five year old kid lives with his grandparents.My granddaughter who is 6 now and in kindergarten has lived with us since she was born.Over here most children are only child.For one thing,grandparents love grandchild best ,not to speak of my 91 year old mother;for another thing,My son and DIL are busy with their work .They have to do household chore after work.I know well there is generation gap between my granddaughter and us,after all she is third generation.We educate her as best as we can and never pamper her.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
15 May 12
Sounds like a loving, caring family..which I knew it would be of course.
14 May 12
It is difficult times we live in - on the one hand you have the families where the mother goes to work and the poor kids are either left in a nursery with a mob of other small children, open to bullying and intimidation by the carers(not all nurseries are like this of course!)or left with long suffering grand parents or in some cases - great grand parents. OR on the other hand you have the families who batten off the state, don't feel the need to work, but have all the gadgets; massive state of the art tv's, ifones, ipads etc., but leave their kids to their own devices. Round our way, that involves running amok and terrorising the local neighbourhood and they are knee high to a grasshopper! Things seem to go badly wrong back in late 90's. everyone is so dis-respectful now, you can walk any where and you seem to be encroaching on everyone's personal space, that includes mainly the young and the young marrieds. Respect should start at home with parents showing respect to each other and other people in front of their children. Children aren't born bad, they learn from their parents and act accordingly. I feel sorry for the teachers these days, I got whacked several times when I was at school. Right or Wrong? i don't know, and I certainly don't advocate corporal punishment in schools, but there must be some deterrent that doesn't involve beatings or slaps.Perhaps the parents should go back to school and learn how to be good parents! But your last comment is interesting,why do people have kids in the first place if they want a high powered job?I shall probably get howls of protest from working mums. I was a working mum and found it very hard to keep all the balls up in the air, so I do know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the likes of our deputy PM's wife, who appears to make sure her husband does his bit looking after the kids, even though he 's running the country, and well paid by the tax payers too. Sorry about the party political broadcast!
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
14 May 12
I found what you said very interesting..so don't worry about it. I think it all went wrong in the 90s too. That decade felt weird and I couldn't put my finger on it at the time. You're right about schools not being able to discipline children. There needs to be a happy medium. I mean, I witnessed my Maths teacher smack a lad next to me across his head and I've never forgotten it. The guy was a bully, pure and simple. My Mum has worked as a dinner-lady since 1974 and she's seen lots of changes in that time. For example, when she was in charge of the kitchen she wasn't allowed to hug a child in distress, even if the child made a point of telling her he/she was upset about something (they don't often like crying in front of teachers) and Mum found it distressing that she couldn't comfort a child, not even for 3 seconds..or even put a plaster on a wounded finger, she wasn't allowed. That kind of thing needs to stop. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with dinner-ladies showing compassion. They have to serve the poorest kids in society with their dinners so I'm sure they wouldn't even do the job if they hated kids. Do you know what I mean? Teachers (especially now) deserve medals for even managing to control a class, never mind teaching the children..and the classes are bigger now as well. None of this one-to-one with the problem kids..they're shipped off to special (or naughty) schools. As for Nick Clegg, I can't stand him..sorry. LOL!
@Zer0Stats (1316)
• India
14 May 12
I think that people don't realise the importance of being a parent nowadays.They worry too much about their image and being perfect at everything that they lost focus of what family is.It's sad.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
14 May 12
I'm glad I'm not involved in that world. Looking after the cat and my hubby is about my limit I think!
@megamatt (14332)
• United States
14 May 12
Throughout all of human history there have been people like this, it just seems worse, because it is happening right now. There are a lot of parents right out there, who rather cannot be bothered to raise their children. They just park them in front of the television to go off and do ever. And then amusingly, when their children does something violent because "they saw it on television", they complain, thus causing everything to get watered down, and ruin it for the rest of us. There are just a lot of cold indifference with a lot of families. Part of it is because everyone was on the go, but then again, so were my parents and they made enough time. Grandparents rather as well to say the very least. There are just going to be lot of times where you just wonder why people have children, if they just cannot be maturely ready right for them. Just makes me shake my head.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
14 May 12
I'm not perfect by any means but I reckon I could do a better job than many parents I see around me, whether it be on the street I live in or on television. Have you noticed that bad parents always have more than one? What's that about?
@sukumar794 (5047)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
14 May 12
In the modern scenario, most people irrespective of their age levels are self centered and greedy beyond limits. Most people will resort to any choice to fulfill their ideas and aspirations. The times have really changed for the worse. Nobody bothers about anybody which in turn creates quite a lot of confusion and awe. It is in fact " I " that governs everyone. Relationships hardly gain worth in the present state of affairs.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
14 May 12
I've noticed this as well. I actually decided (quite early on) that I didn't want children as I know that I'm too selfish to have them. That's not to say I wouldn't be a good mother (or try to be) and no-one is perfect..I know that. But to have kids and not even read to them (and some are still in nappies when they go to school) has really opened my eyes at how selfish people have become, especially the last 10-15 years or so. I can't see it getting any better either although people will continue to have kids whilst they get paid by the government to do so. If that stopped overnight so would (some of) the births I'm sure!
@rosegardens (3044)
• United States
15 May 12
I firmly believe, the more I hear and witness of society around me, the main reason for such selfishness and inconsideration towards children is a hatred for them, spawned by the wide acceptance of birth control, then abortion. The families I know of who accept children have an incredible amount of love for their larger families. They get along great! The kids have a few things, but not a lot, they are spoiled by love not things and stuff. They learn to enjoy being around people. Most of these families have very well-behaved children. There is no room for selfishness in a large family, what you get is what can be afforded and that is that. The children understand it, they don't throw fits because they can't have this or that. I like these children. The parents too, because they are concerned about the important things--not a cabin in the woods, a second car, two careers, the fashion models of the block, cruises around the world twice a year, etc. They care about people, raising their children to be liked. These values used to run through the fabric of family life. Rare it was to find a family of one parent and one or 2 children. Rarer still, a married couple with only 1-2 children. That only happened if something were medically wrong, not by will. Because we are stifling life, we can go about our business as though there were no little ones about who need our love, support and care. We can throw our aged parents into institutions to be cared for by strangers who do not care for them. We can go about our life, stealing from whomever we can because we have robbed ourselves of morals; our world is in shambles, governments are crumbling before our eyes. And one little pill has caused this destruction................. That is my belief. Since birth control has been so commonplace in our society, rather quickly the entire world is falling apart. we have only ourselves to blame for embracing such a wicked thing. The very idea that grandparents wouldn't dote on their grandchildren.............wow. I do not know of a single grandparent such as the ones you speak of, but most people I do know are truly people of God. I hear of them, but do not know them personally.