New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | March 20, 2019

Editorial: Growing up with different rules and laws for different generations

By Andre Jones | June 6, 2018 7:13 am

As society continues to weave in and out of what is practical, new generations of children are born every day. This means these kids will grow up to certain laws and rules that weren’t around when the previous generation came into existence. What I am asking is this; what is the “norm?”

This editorial spurned from a discussion with a few wiser people that I interact with my life. Governmental laws and rules change so much that when we grow up, there are some rules and laws that we have today that the older generations thought could ever exist. But here we are in 2018 and there are specific laws and rules for stealing information from another on the Internet, skimming, and exchanging inappropriate materials online.

However, different generations experienced different rules. For example, when I was born umpteen years ago, the legal drinking age of alcohol was 21. However, many years before that, it was a mere 18 years old. (No, this is not a promotion to lower the drinking age). This is an example of how some people had access to do something legally in one generation while it would be illegal in another generation.

And this doesn’t just apply to laws. An example of this is when a student can apply for a learner’s permit and driver’s license. When I grew up, you had to be at least 15 years old to obtain a permit, with the license being obtained at 16 years of age. Now, students must be 15 years and six months to receive a learner’s and 16 years and three months before a license is issued.

Sticking to the driving theme, the recommendation of where a person’s hands should be is also different. In my driver’s education studies, under the clock methodology my left hand is supposed to be placed at the “10” position while the right hand should be placed at the “2” position. Now, hands are taught to be placed more towards the sides and bottom because if an airbag deploys while the hands are at the “10” and “2” position, they can break a person’s arms. (And let me throw this in while I’m at it; kids not being taught how to tell time on an analog clock? Just another point to make).

Different generations will grow up with different laws and different rules. It’s going to happen. There may become a time when marijuana becomes legal down the road and the generation that is born today will think of it as normal while people like us know that it is currently illegal to use. As the older generations adjust to changes, the newer generation adapts to them. No matter what happens, there will never be a “norm” on the standards of society that we live in.