What I Learned About Young People While Trying to Buy a Car
Do the car dealerships know this? Do they care? At one time, the general critique of car dealers was they were too pushy. If my experience is at all typical, I can assure readers that pushiness is no longer a problem. The only thing any of the dealers pushed was free bottled water.
I am aware that every generation laments “In my time …” But that doesn’t necessarily invalidate what follows.
In my time, young guys — I can speak with greater knowledge about men — had hobbies/passions. And ambition.
If I were 25 years old and had a job selling cars, even if I had other aspirations for my life, I would still aim to be the best car salesman in America. That’s what we refer to as ambition.
I would learn everything I could about the cars I sold. I would learn how to advocate for the cars without being pushy. During the test drives, I would say a lot more than where the customer should next turn. In addition to talking about the car, I would ask customers about themselves.
I detected little ambition in the sex previously known for professional ambition — men. But no one should be surprised. Many young men have been coddled by parents and by society. If you receive a trophy just for playing, why try to win? If self-esteem is given to you without having to earn it, why try to earn it? If the government will take care of you, why work hard? Anyway, ambition in men is probably now considered a form of “toxic masculinity.”
Perhaps most importantly, young men have been given the message that women have no need for the support of a man. Women, they have been told all their lives, are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and any children they might have.
So, then, if the government will take care of you and your income is not necessary to support a family, why be ambitious? Why push yourself to succeed?
Talk to the young men in your life and ask them if they are ambitious. Don’t be surprised if they answer “I’ll look it up.”
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in April 2018, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Exodus. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.