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Thread: Generational thinking (generalized) [split from Advice on Giving Advice]

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Generational thinking (generalized) [split from Advice on Giving Advice]

    Quote Originally posted by Cloverhill View post
    ...But is the prosperity curve flattening for us as a society just as the cost curve is steepening?...
    Great post overall, but this really stood out. It is a topic I have been thinking about for some time and worthy of a thread of its own.

    Imaplanner - Remember the saying "Trust nobody over thirty?" That came from the 1960's hippies who are now in their sixties. Every younger generation seeks to put the blame on the one before. The reality is that most of the Generation X and even the Boomers are as much the victims of the recession as the younger generation.

    But the question of generational differences is another one that intrigues me. The Boomers were the first true "entitlement" generation, growing up with the expectation that the government and employers would provide them with work, health care, and retirement. At the same time, this generation broke from convention to seek a new sort of freedom to live on their own terms.

    Generation X is having its doubts as it has seen the failures in the promise: the lost promise of a career job in a company, the loss of wage increases (flat wage growth for over a decade), and questions about the promise of social security. We grew up with some of the freedom won by our predecessors, but the beginnings, too, of a more structured environment of organized plan and programmed time.

    I don't think the younger generation has really known freedom, spending all of their time in school, after school programs, soccer and other activities, and usually lacking the unsupervised, improvised activities older generations knew. As some have pointed out, there is a lot of discussion about how this generation has been told they are always winners and have always had someone to bail them out. I hoe this isn't me becoming a curmudgeon, and I am expressing things I have seen written in articles discussing the psychology of generations.

    This most recent generation has also developed what I think is a legitimate disbelief in the promise of the American Dream. Jobs, home ownership and a lifestyle better than their parents', and social security do not appear, at least right now, to be easily attained. And yet paradoxically, they seem to still expect to be "given" all of these things.

    Have I strayed off topic?
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I think these are some very interesting thoughts....and worthy of their own thread too.

    That's the first time I've heard it identified specifically, but you're right, there IS something of a paradox concerning the way Gen X has been characterized. Every generation has its' own unique sins and virtues. Is it possible Gen X's much publicized feelings of misgiving towards The System is both a curse and a blessing?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian
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    Keep in mind, that every subsequent generation is expected to be smarter, faster, richer, and all-around better, than the last. It's not enough to do choose a good college anymore, kids have to now enroll in the right kindergarten, be taught by thoroughly vetted teachers, spend hours and hours on homework, soccer practice, ballet, etc. I have heard of pre-adolescents creating their own websites that market their so-called professional "skills." Whatever happened to dodgeball at recess?!! And for that matter, whatever happened to playing dodgeball at recess with tennis balls, baseballs, melon balls, or a good rock?

    The generations currently working and making a living fail to realize that there IS a limit to what someone can do. This false sense of entitlement partly comes from a lack of real world experience. I started working when I was 13 and I still live well within my means. My parents put me in my place when I was very young and stressed deferred gratification (they still do this to me today but as an adult living on my own I really choose when I want to listen to them). They were proud of me, but they felt it was their duty to tell me that I was special.

    Horatio Alger fell to the wayside a few years ago. As I said on a few posts, luck will play a much stronger role in who succeeds in future generations.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Great post overall, but this really stood out. It is a topic I have been thinking about for some time and worthy of a thread of its own.

    Imaplanner - Remember the saying "Trust nobody over thirty?" That came from the 1960's hippies who are now in their sixties. Every younger generation seeks to put the blame on the one before. The reality is that most of the Generation X and even the Boomers are as much the victims of the recession as the younger generation.

    But the question of generational differences is another one that intrigues me. The Boomers were the first true "entitlement" generation, growing up with the expectation that the government and employers would provide them with work, health care, and retirement. At the same time, this generation broke from convention to seek a new sort of freedom to live on their own terms.

    Generation X is having its doubts as it has seen the failures in the promise: the lost promise of a career job in a company, the loss of wage increases (flat wage growth for over a decade), and questions about the promise of social security. We grew up with some of the freedom won by our predecessors, but the beginnings, too, of a more structured environment of organized plan and programmed time.

    I don't think the younger generation has really known freedom, spending all of their time in school, after school programs, soccer and other activities, and usually lacking the unsupervised, improvised activities older generations knew. As some have pointed out, there is a lot of discussion about how this generation has been told they are always winners and have always had someone to bail them out. I hoe this isn't me becoming a curmudgeon, and I am expressing things I have seen written in articles discussing the psychology of generations.

    This most recent generation has also developed what I think is a legitimate disbelief in the promise of the American Dream. Jobs, home ownership and a lifestyle better than their parents', and social security do not appear, at least right now, to be easily attained. And yet paradoxically, they seem to still expect to be "given" all of these things.

    Have I strayed off topic?

    Yeah. You hit the nail on the head about everything I've been trying to get across in the other thread.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I found this table online which purports to describe characteristics various generations are known to exhibit/believe in. It appears to have been devised in connection with designing a successful ministry. I'm not sure I agree with every characterisation, but it serves as some sort of useful referrent at any rate.

    http://www.agts.edu/faculty/faculty_...ions_chart.pdf

    They break down into:
    'Builders,' 'Boomers' 'Busters', and 'Bridgers'
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I found this table online which purports to describe characteristics various generations are known to exhibit/believe in. It appears to have been devised in connection with designing a successful ministry. I'm not sure I agree with every characterisation, but it serves as some sort of useful referrent at any rate.

    http://www.agts.edu/faculty/faculty_...ions_chart.pdf

    They break down into:
    'Builders,' 'Boomers' 'Busters', and 'Bridgers'
    Interesting...I'm pretty in line with the Busters but carry a little into the Bridger area and R.T. is definitely a Bridger.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Interesting...I'm pretty in line with the Busters but carry a little into the Bridger area and R.T. is definitely a Bridger.
    I'll bet no one fully identifies with their generational description. We might agree we've got some of the virtues, and sure, others our age might have some of the undesirable qualities

    I will admit to feeling a little impatience, or on a bad day even possibly resentment, towards previous generations actions and attitudes, so I shouldn't be surprised younger folks might deservedly look upon my generation (whatever that might be - I fall directly on the boomer/buster cusp) with some disdain too.

    Remember this light-hearted thread? Sure, we were joking but there's a tiny kernel of truth to some of those generalizations concerning the 'Greatest Generation'
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I just saw this article and it's timely about millenials:

    http://www.womenentrepreneur.com/201...llennials.html

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Thhis is all a very interesting discussion. I recently read two books that were social critiques focusing on Generation X. I actually found it all very enlightening (as an Xer) to hear that things I thought were "just me" are actually indicative of my generation and perhaps more of a shared experience than I ever realized.

    Things like:
    • Feeling like the Boomers keep telling us "they changed the world" so what are we going to do?
    • Being labeled a "slacker" because I was not motivated by the got get'em greed of the 80's.
    • The sinking feeling that one must be a failure since, despite a college degree (and in many cases, subsequent degrees) I still can't find a job that can cover my basic expenses. The recent info about wage stagnation and zero job growth for the last decade is somewhat vindicating.
    • The aversion to becoming a societal "cliche" and the almost allergic reaction to attempts to put me in a box.
    • The questioning of the conventional work model where you kiss butt to an employer and they "take care of you." Coming of age in the 1980's with massive layoffs of even seasoned employees was a stark contrast to what our parents' generation was telling us about the work world.

    And so much more. The returning to school in the hopes things would improve when we got out, the lateral movement among jobs, the sarcasm, it all is not the exclusive territory of, but definitely emblematic of Generation X. Indeed, the fact that I would even accept this as a viable label is unusual for my generation.

    And so, to the issue of frustration with the older generations, I will admit harboring some of these feelings towards the Boomers. Not everyone and not just because of one's age, but coming of age in the shadow of the 1960s, when "everything that meant anything happened" and the feeling that our age was just, well, not that interesting and that really it is too bad we missed all the marches and rallies and PARTIES is enough to give on e a complex. Especially when folks started to ask "whats wrong with the kids these days" and labeled us as slackers, unenthused and freeloaders drifting without purpose. Hey, man, we were/are dealing with a rapidly changing economic reality here, cut us some slack. Man.

    That's my take on generational stuff. Very fascinating. My parents are from the Greatest Generation (1931 and 1935) and my only brother is 11 years my senior. You can bet I had my share of generational issues growing up.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    It seems like generational differences are too often exaggerated for the point of social commentary, usually to say something negative about a particular generation like gen-X is a bunch of slackers and millenials are egostistical and need to be coddled by employers. Stereotyping is fun but I think there's a lot of gray areas. I also think generations evolve with the times more than we give them credit for (i.e. the slacker generation grows up and becomes less jaded/cynical and works harder when the times call for it).

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I struggle with the generations and their differences every day at work. I'm a Gen X-er. My secretary and zoning administrator are both 60+ baby boomers who are near retirement. My planners are both Gen Y-ers. There are distinct differences in how each generation views the world -- and views work. I don't think it's a clear cut as that table, but I often have to "translate" between these two generations. Makes my head hurt.

    You can most clearly see the differences in the generations when we discuss health care bill or medicare or social security. We have to avoid these discussions at all cost because there seems to be absolutely no traversing the generations in terms how these programs are viewed!!

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    It seems like generational differences are too often exaggerated for the point of social commentary, usually to say something negative about a particular generation like gen-X is a bunch of slackers and millenials are egostistical and need to be coddled by employers. Stereotyping is fun but I think there's a lot of gray areas. I also think generations evolve with the times more than we give them credit for (i.e. the slacker generation grows up and becomes less jaded/cynical and works harder when the times call for it).
    You make some good points. I thought my two sons (both now in their early 20's), were destined to be slackers their entire lives. They seem to have their lives in order and are both hard working SOBs. They ask for a floater now and again, but that's OK. At least they are both working and generally supporting themselves. I know, bias, anecdotal evidence and observation on my part.
    I think that one of the great signs of security is the ability to just walk away.

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