When one of the elderly men said to him in his old age, inasmuch as he saw the good old customs falling into desuetude, and other mischievous practices creeping in, that for this reason everything was getting to be topsy-turvy in Sparta, Agis said humorously, “Things are then but following a logical course if that is what is happening; for when I was a boy, I used to hear from my father that everything was topsy-turvy among them; and my father said that, when he was a boy, his father had said this to him; so nobody ought to be surprised if conditions later are worse than those earlier, but rather to wonder if they grow better or remain approximately the same.”
-Agis, from Plutarch’s Sayings of Spartans
Just a reminder that since the ancient Greeks, people have complaining about kids these days. Personally, I love Agis’s reply. I admire the Spartans’ laconic wit and blunt pragmatism, and this is one of the better examples of it. It really is annoying to hear how often people complain about every new development, as though society is teetering on the edge of collapse and twerking is going to send it over the knife’s edge. So the next time you hear someone complain about the youngest generation, remind them that they’re just the most recent in a long line of similar complainers, most of whom were completely wrong.