Part of the process of getting older seems to include the
perception that the younger generation isn’t up to the standards of previous
This phenomenon isn’t unique to Cayman, or even to
current times, and for good reason: Standards from generation to generation do
tend to change. Just because they change, however, doesn’t make them inferior;
each generation is entitled to blaze its own trail.
Looking at Cayman’s current younger generation, some
older folks might feel it has slipped, based on its pervasive materialism and
the crimes committed by some of its members.
However, one need look no further than at the finalists
for the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards to realise that this young generation
has stars, just like all other generations.
The truth is, there are many bright and conscientious
young people in Cayman today, most of whom get no recognition. Even if these
people aren’t involved in the community enough to warrant a YCLA nomination,
they are vital assets to our society.
They will, after all, be the ones eventually leading this country.
Are today’s young people different from their parents and
grandparents? Absolutely. Their collective
experiences have been different than those of older generations and as a result
they view the world differently. Consequently, they will bring about changes in
values and beliefs in a kind of social evolution that is as unstoppable as the
tide. Older folks might not like some of the changes they’ll bring, but
resistance is truly futile.
One thing that is certain is that those who will become
the leaders of the future will face a much more complex Cayman Islands than
previous generations. Although these young people will be armed with more
knowledge than those they have followed, they will have to deal with more
difficult issues, some caused by unruly members of their own generation.
It is for these reasons that we applaud initiatives like
the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards that recognise the good in the younger
generation. All too often, it’s only the bad things the young generation does
that make their way to the news.