The typical eighteen-year-old has seen 17,000 hours of television, listened to 11,000 hours of music, and watched 2,000 hours of MTV and movies. In addition, they have spent countless hours on texting, have “driven around” a substantial number of hours, gone to concerts and athletic events, and dated. I’m not opposed to any of these things, but when you total those hours, they come to more hours than are required to complete kindergarten, grade school, middle school, high school, college, medical school and serve an internship. All of this in the quest of happiness, having pleasure and being entertained.
Interestingly enough, as thousands of people in my audiences around America will testify, when I ask them a question which challenges them to finish the sentence, “The most-often heard phrase around a household uttered by our children is…” – and I open the sentence by saying “I am…” -the audience, in unison, finishes with the word “bored.” In addition, according to Psychology Today, the typical 20-year-old American is ten times as likely to be depressed as is his father and 20 times as likely to be depressed as is his grandfather.
The message is clear. There’s a substantial difference between pleasure and happiness. Other people can give us pleasure. Most of us would agree that all the events I described above – movies, dating, athletic events, music, etc. – are pleasurable. However, neither you nor your children will be happy until you do things for other people. You can’t be “entertained” into happiness and pleasure alone ultimately produces boredom and low self-esteem. A Gallup Poll several years ago revealed that over 90% of seniors in high school wished their parents and teachers loved them enough to discipline them more and require and expect more from them.
We need to teach our children to “be” and “do,” and I’m not talking about “be entertained.” I’m talking about “be responsible,” and active in the pursuit of some worthwhile objectives. -- Zig Ziglar