Today’s young Americans live in a remarkable future.  From the day we were born, we’ve been told by our parents, our relatives, our teachers, our coaches, our mentors, and our friends that the world for us is a land of unbounded opportunity.  Pick a dream, we were told, and fight for that dream.  Nothing would be off limits to those of us who worked hard enough.  Thanks to our parents, racism, poverty, sexism, and so many other social ills had supposedly been defeated; men had gone to the moon; and dinner could be made by placing food inside of a magical box-shaped machine.  We were handed what looked like a world of guaranteed excellence, without any significant obstacles left in our way.

To earn our place in this brave new world, we dutifully spent our childhoods in school (not that we had a choice).  There we learned how to read (sort of), how to write (or type, whichever), and how to do math (2 + 2 = potato?).  We learned about history (so full of evil white men, and nobody else, ever, except maybe MLK… and the guy who invented peanut butter!), science (E = mc2 = atom bombs), and government (all five1 branches).  We took classes on art and music (until their budgets got cut).  And in the end we were told it was time to go to college, to learn the skills that we would need to prepare us for the rest of our lives.

Those of us who followed the template, we each spent a year or two in preschool, twelve years in mandatory education, another four (or five, or six) years in might-as-well-be-mandatory education.  What we got in exchange for those twenty years of our lives was a confidence that we were finally ready.  We were told that it was time to take on the world, to be truly our own people, and to make our dreams come true.

Confident and daring, we went out and got ourselves into post-collegiate housing (which looks conspicuously like our childhood bedrooms) and mastered the art of gourmet cooking (“Insert burrito [A] into magical machine [B]”).  We got used to taking charge household chores like mowing the lawn (or calling the lawn service, or letting the lawn service service call the lawn service, or letting the lawn service service service… uh… where were we?), vacuuming (roomba!), and laundry (just like in college).  We went out and got found looked for talked on Facebook about how hard it is to get jobs, thankful that being an adult doesn’t mean we have to stop playing games with our friends.  And when one of our things breaks, our parents are right there to tell us how to fix it (or to just fix it themselves, since, after all, they already know how).

Right from the beginning, we’ve been raised in a sea of useless knowledge with a promise that, somehow, all of that would come together to unlock the pathway to our dreams.  The truth is that, for most of us, it won’t.  Very few of us pass our days dreaming of being able to sit around for days on end thinking, perhaps trying to conceive of amazing new worlds, or unique new perspectives through which to view the world that we share.  Most of us want to actually do something, but through our whole lives we have never learned how.

The full ramifications of this are far from obvious, but a few important observations are in order.  Because we have been systematically denied knowledge of the world, we are often ill-equipped to handle many of the bad situations which naturally arise during life.  This leads to the perception that even though we are now in our 20s and 30s, that we are still children who are helpless without our parents’ care.  Worse still, it denies us the ability to stand up for ourselves, because we have become so dependent on others for help that we wouldn’t dare to risk disrupting that support network — a support network which includes the government.

In our culture and media, it’s become common to make fun of the Millennials for being so clueless about “common sense” kinds of things.  While this makes for good comedy, it neglects the true nature of what’s really happened.  The lack of knowledge isn’t a result of laziness or stupidity.  It is, instead, a systemic result of doing what we’ve been told, learning what we’ve been taught, and living the life that was set out in the template that we were provided at birth.

It seems that our world without obstacles may be an obstacle all to itself.

  1. Legislature, President, courts, administrative agencies, and the news []
This entry was posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 7:00 am and is filed under Philosophy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 comments so far


We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with useful information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community can be grateful to you.

May 12th, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Thanks for the good writeup. This in truth had been the amusement profile the item. Appearance complicated for you to more introduced pleasant from you! In addition, exactly how should we connect?

May 16th, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your publish is just great and i can assume you’re knowledgeable on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to take hold of your feed to stay up to date with approaching post. Thank you one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

May 27th, 2013 at 1:12 am

“First they came ” is a famous stmaetent attributed to pastor Martin Niemf6llerFirst they came for the communists,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.Then they came for the trade unionists,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.Then they came for the Jews,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.Then they came for meand there was no one left to speak out for me.

November 11th, 2015 at 10:08 am

Hooray for recycling. I’ve always been aware that one reason I can live so cheaply (I’ve almost always only worked part time, so I’d have time to write, stare our the window, etc.) is because I live in a rich country where I can find what I need cheap used, or free–I’ve even turned down people’s offers of their old cars. (I am car-free.)

April 28th, 2016 at 7:48 am

Equity stripping can be around $35, and payday lenders fees for bounced checks can be great when the debt collection agency. Start with current lenders that are approved for Express s.

May 12th, 2016 at 4:59 pm

That insight’s just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

May 15th, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Heh, most of the Sonic fandom is not only a nightmare for other fans but a nightmare for Sega themselves.Why can’t they be like most normal people and go “just give me a freaking Sonic game! I’ll surely play it anyways!”

June 4th, 2016 at 11:56 pm

What I find really funny is that the person hogging no.1 position for a keyword phase in my niche has an about page that reads "This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself……"It is no.1 because of the network of sites that link to it, all using the same theme, all with the same backlink profiles from blogs, free directories and social sites. By studying this site I am slowly learning how easy it is to manipulate Google. Impressive. Oh, this site is also a re-write of other sites, and English is not the webmasters first language either!

July 8th, 2016 at 6:32 am

Thanks for the information you share with your readers on Lawn Care Services. Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. Enjoyed reading the above article, really explains everything in detail, the article is very interesting and effective. Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles. In spite of it you can also join us at for such more Lawn Care Services.

February 7th, 2017 at 11:49 pm

ITT: The penmanship and intelligence of this 10yo is highly

April 10th, 2017 at 12:21 am

One Trackback/Ping

  1. Testosterone Boost zinc    May 25 2016 / 6pm:

    Testosterone Boost zinc

    Flames of Freedom » Blog Archive » Anything you can do, I can… uh… pay someone else to do, I guess

Leave a reply

Note: Flames of Freedom encourages free and open discussion, so comments may express views with which its authors disagree. Flames of Freedom and its authors do not implicitly endorse any comment simply by allowing it to remain visible and uncontested.

Mail (will not be published)

Note: By submitting a comment, you indicate your acceptance of our Comment Policy.