Our Most Irresponsible Generation?

By | March 19, 2020

[March 19, 2020]  For my birthday in 2001, my dad sent me a new book by Tom Brokaw titled, The Greatest Generation.  It covered many of the extraordinary stories of a generation that gave new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and honor during WW2.  This generation gave so much and asked so little.  Today, our young men and women, who are at the center of the Coronavirus pandemic, are now called our most irresponsible generation.

Those few now left in our WW2 generation are in their 90s and more.  They served their country with valor, then came home and transformed it into something better.  To this day, we Americans and the world owe them so much.  They showed us what we are capable of as people.  In a nutshell, they are inspiring.  It is impossible to read even a few of these accounts of Brokaw’s book and not be touched by its overarching message; we who followed this generation have lived amid greatness.1

A medical doctor in Northern Italy recently told Newsweek reporter Dimi Reider, that the behavior of Americans (and you, Brits) “pretending this [pandemic] is just the flu… following through with your holiday travel plans and going to the office daily” is what “we did in Italy.”2  Partying through the evenings, eating out in large groups of friends, working out at the gym, and hugging each other unabashedly is a complacent attitude.  The majority of us, he said, “told ourselves and each other, this isn’t so bad.  We’re young; we’re fit, we’ll be fine even if we catch it.”  The doctor now says, “… we are drowning.”

Are American young adults truly helping to potential spread the virus to others?  Aren’t they helping support the economy by going out and spending their money?  Are they helping, or are they hurting the efforts to control the spread of the virus?  Medical professionals have given us an indication that many young adults in America are not acting as responsibly as we would like.  One young lady said that now is the time “to party, party, party.”  I don’t think it’s nihilism, but it is certainly not the type of responsible behavior professionals would like to see.

The message from our medical communities across the world to the young generation is the same.  Regardless of whether your government is hesitating on restrictions, your behavior matters a great deal.  Stay put as best you can.  Do not travel.  Cancel large weddings.  Don’t go out on a big night’s bash.  The risk you bring to others is too high.  They are saying it, but our young adults should heed their warnings and act responsibly.  The recommendations are boring and restrictive, but by following a few simple guidelines, we will be able to return to normalcy shortly.

We all have a basic social duty to stay put, except for exceptional reasons.  When we get to this stage of a pandemic, the most important thing we can do is not spread the virus.  The only thing that helps is social isolation.  The message to our young is not to be our most irresponsible generation.


  1. https://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Generation-Tom-Brokaw/dp/0812975294
  2. https://www.newsweek.com/young-unafraid-coronavirus-pandemic-good-you-now-stop-killing-people-opinion-1491797
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

35 thoughts on “Our Most Irresponsible Generation?

  1. Jake Tapper, Jr.

    Let’s not forget, ever, that this is a Chinese Virus. Origin is China. Failed communist leadership was in China. Failure to notify the WHO and other health agencies was from China. China showed it is not a full member of the civilized world, not yet anyway.

  2. Wavy Girl

    This article is long overdue. The kids, and I call them kids because they are mentally kids, are the ones who are our future leaders and workers. Seeing them being so ‘privileged’ on the beach partying (likely with their parent’s money) is disgusting and saddening. Shame on them. More than one will be responsible for the death of some of their relatives and yet will never know it.

    1. Dennis Mathes

      Wavy Girl (BTW great on-line name) you are spot-on. It only took 50+ years to go from the greatest generation to the most irresponsible generation.

  3. Terri Issa

    There are several primary objectives the government should now be focused on:

    1. Supplies to health field;
    2. Protect the supply lines;
    3. Protect America’s farmers;
    4. If not already done, give America’s truckers all the help they need;
    5. If people choose not to follow guidelines, enforce them via law enforcement or military;
    6. Too many more to list.

    1. Georgie B.

      Interesting! Thanks Terri. I know that the one thing we don’t want is some of our politicians playing politician gamesmanship.

    2. Army Captain

      “Protect the supply lines” ….. great comment.

  4. Willie Shrumburger

    Those working in our grocery stores are becoming the heroes of this epidemic. Some are young, most are middle aged and older. I wonder how often I’ve been thanking them for coming into work (working at minimum wage likely).

  5. Mr. T.J. Asper

    This is what happens when we protect our children from all things dangerous.

    1. Deplorable John

      Bizarro World. The young (who are also susceptible to catching the virus) are told that they have a low likelihood of catching it and if they do, then they will have only mild, non-life threatening affects. Let’s all remember that this Millennial and GenX that is upcoming into adulthood have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives. Putting on their pants in the morning must be hard because of the fact they own so many clothes but their brains are as diverse in thinking. Nor have their thinking ever been challenged.

  6. Valkerie

    General Satterfield, looks like fun on the beach for the Spring breakers. But they are doing what they do best, act irresponsibly. I agree with your analysis completely. The ramifications will be terrible and will reverberate for many decades.

  7. Yusaf from Texas

    I found this article by Gen. Satterfield a bit disturbing. Young people are ignoring health guidelines (maybe for many reasons) but the fact that they have grown up with so few obstacles in their lives and really no responsibility to think of might be a few of the reasons.

    1. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

      Yusaf, the main point I’m trying to make is something the media has largely ignored. Many young adults don’t think they are responsible for the pandemic or what happens to everyone else. So, why not party? This may be a sad state of affairs but here we have it, visible for everyone to see.

      1. Lynn Pitts

        So sad yet so true. Let’s see if they can get their act together as young adults. Remember, our theme as leaders should be to always tell the truth (even when it hurts) and adopt responsibility (especially when it’s hard). That is the way to great satisfaction in life, not the party scene.

      2. Otto Z. Zuckermann

        Thanks sir. Spot-on blog post today. I didn’t enjoy it so much as I learned from it.

  8. lydia

    The sky is falling. I’m not afraid to say it. A few weeks from now you may call me an alarmist; and I can live with that. Actually, I will keel over with happiness if I’m proven wrong.

  9. Max Foster

    I hear that there is a shortage of condoms and sex toys. Now what do I do?

    1. Xerxes I

      LOL, Max, You’re killing me with laughter. I almost snorted by early morning coffee. Your words should come with a warning.

      1. Martin Shiell

        Some people have started to stock up on food and hygiene products. Others are stockpiling condoms! Indeed, according to several studies, couples are beginning to anticipate the potential quarantine ahead.

      2. JT Patterson

        You just can’t make this stuff up. Media outlets Vice and the Huffington Post have indicated that the keyword ‘coronavirus’ is on the rise on the Pornhub website, and videos are increasingly including actors wearing surgical masks…

        1. Harry Donner

          One Las Vegas strip club is staying open amid a 30-day shutdown recommended by Gov. Steve Sisolak and taking social distancing to another level by offering drive-through strip shows.

  10. Dale Paul Fox

    Bernie Sanders, communist wannabe & self-declared socialist shows his true colors. A RAGING Bernie Sanders snapped he was “dealing with a f***ing global crisis” as he was asked about dropping out of the Democratic primaries. The Vermont Senator reportedly showed extreme anger when he was questioned about his campaign plans by a CNN reporter on Wednesday.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      He can’t even handle a softball question from a fellow CNN socialist fan.

  11. Eva Easterbrook

    Spring breakers have been partying in Miami and still hanging out on South Beach despite curfews curbing large gatherings due to Coronavirus. Sections of South Beach were still bustling with holidaymakers on Tuesday despite the pandemic and advice from public health officials to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people.

    1. Fred Weber

      “Hand me a beer and a toke,” is now the new Millennial motto.

    2. Eric Coda

      The federal government on Monday urged Americans not to gather in groups of 10 or more and asked older people to stay home, as the number of infections in the US climbed to more than 6,400, with at least 114 deaths.

    1. Randy Goodman

      “We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested,” tweeted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Communist de Blasio actually said something that makes sense.

    2. Greg Heyman

      NBA commissioner Adam Silver, in an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, said he could understand de Blasio’s concern but the bigger one was that there are not enough tests available and that the league was simply following protocol. Yep, just following protocol. Sounds like the Nazi guards at their death camps during WW2.

  12. Doug Smith

    The first thing I did when I read this article was to laugh. But, sadly, it was an unhappy laugh. Our young have grown up in such richness that they have become suicidal, narcissists, and anti-American. Oh, and anti-religious. They have never known struggle or hardship yet they believe they know everything worthwhile and us “old” folk need to step aside and let the superior people take over.

    1. Bill Sanders, Jr.

      Doug, I was too thinking along these same lines. Gen. Satterfield perhaps should not have put a question mark “?” at the end of his article title. It’s a fact, not a question.

      1. Janna Faulkner

        Yes! And thank god that spring is upon us and the rest of us can get back to work and time with distant family members. The young irresponsible generation will forever regret what they and other friends of their’s did during this time of tragedy.

      2. Linux Man

        This is what happens when we protect our children from all things dangerous.

    2. Karl J.

      Yeah, the same happened to me and my wife. We are sad to see this sort of irresponsible behavior coming from those who will eventually lead us into the 22nd century.

Comments are closed.