I love this prompt from the Daily Post archives (June 29, 2015)!
Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?
I was born in 1982, the child of Baby Boomers. Though my earliest childhood (birth to age seven), happened in the 1980s, my formative years happened in the 1990s, and I turned eighteen in 2000.
I remember life with 56K dialup internet (and even life before it!), no cell phones, cable providers who didn’t provide 500 channels in its cable package, and a time where my cable company ended Nickelodeon’s broadcasting day at 8 pm so A&E could take over the channel. We rented our movies at the video store, sent mail and bills by good old fashioned “snail mail,” and pagers weren’t just something doctors use. We had Nintendo, Sega, and those other systems were about as far out of our reach financially, but they were also nothing compared to the systems we had.
The generation immediately before mine hated our clothing styles, music, and our attitude towards things in general. However, my generation feels the same way about the one immediately following mine.
In 2004, my generation was coined as the Milennials, which is a total lie. Perhaps in 2004, this title wasn’t such an insult, but in 2018, no one born before a time where entitlement, participation trophies, cry-ins, screaming circles, complaining, and heavy electronic dependency reigned supreme wants to be grouped as such.
More recently, those born between 1977 and 1983 are now referred to as Xennials. We’re considered to be a healthy mix of pessimism and optimism, tech savvy yet remember a time when these technologies didn’t exist, and we remember life before 9/11. I know I do!
Every generation can learn to better themselves as compared to the previous generation. Unfortunately, where my generation has learned that from our parents and grandparents, the current generation is growing up thinking that complaining and entitlement are the norm, and the only way to get what is desired.
Now, don’t get me wrong, not everyone is like that, and we only hear about the ones who are like this. Unfortunately, it is that small group of people who live the Milennial mentality that make everyone else in that age group who refuses to be like that look bad. It is unfair to group anyone together, but my generation has dealt with that too. And while some do deserve to know how their actions put a negative spin on the rest of the population in the same age group, the ones who aren’t like the others don’t deserve to be bullied for being different.
Every generation needs to work hard to prove the previous wrong. Show me a way of being the exception to your generation’s behavior and norms, and I’ll show you respect. I’ve had to work for the respect I’ve wanted, and to prove that I’m the exception to my generation. No one is above having to make the effort.
But you have to earn it. No participation trophies.