Roaring into the 2020s: Tyranny

The following post is part three of a presentation by Mike Shaughnessy analyzing the impact the 2020s will have on youth and youth culture due to the Covid19 pandemic.

So far we have looked at exhaustion and instability as two effects that Covid 19 is having on today’s youth. Now let’s focus our attention on another effect: the effect of “tyranny” on trust in authority.

During the Covid pandemic we had many restrictions. Some were unusual and harsh. It felt like tyranny at times because the reasoning behind the restrictions was unclear or didn’t make sense. 

It wasn’t just the official demands that were a problem. Many people in positions of authority issued orders they expected to be obeyed without question. Building consensus was not easy and often not even attempted. 

Covid was a real threat. Many people were afraid of an untimely death for themselves or someone close to them. We all wanted to get this under control, but we couldn’t. We were confounded: we didn’t know what would work and what wouldn’t and, as the pandemic dragged on, contradictions and disagreements grew. The CDC had points of disagreement with the WHO, politicians disagreed on how to fight Covid, schools took different approaches, and the populace had strong and varied opinions about it all. Stress increased.  

Humans don’t do very well with tyranny or disorder. Civilization is built around cooperative, social institutions that are led well: families, churches, schools, governments, etc. Tyranny leads to loss of confidence in all authority. Covid 19 has shaken our trust in many of society’s other “higher powers” as well: the medical community, police, science. Western youth haven’t seen this shaking of trust since the 1960s.

The impact of this loss of trust can lead to two different responses: complete loss of trust across the board or a search for something, anything, trustworthy. Enter the grandparents… Most did not lose trust, and that puts them in a position to talk about what it is that they trust, especially in troublesome times. 

Consider these questions:

  • How can you enter a discussion on trust of authority with your grandchildren?
  • What is the one thing you would like to communicate to them about trusting in God?

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