Archives For generation

This summer, our team at work has had the pleasure of working with a handful of interns. They are all 20-22 year olds and eager to gain experience before they head out into ‘real world.’ This generation is known as “Generation Y” or referred to as “Millennials.”

It’s hard not to read the internet or watch the news and hear negative things about this generation. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some very entitled people from this group. I’ve also met those people from older generations, especially my own, Generation X.

Here are five things interns have impressed me with this summer:

  • Their willingness to learn.
  • Their humility in recognizing that they don’t have the knowledge or wisdom (yet) to do certain things
  • Their tech-savvyness rivals all of us
  • They seem confident about themselves in a positive way
  • They grew up on change so interruptions don’t bother them.

Buzzfeed recently published a great quiz about quotes referring to specific generations. http://www.buzzfeed.com/chelseamarshall/youths

For fun, here is a sampling of it so guess which generation these quotes come from (don’t cheat, answers are at the bottom of the post).

Does each quote come from Generation Y or “another generation”?

1.  “They are lazy, entitled, narcissists”

2.  “The youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.”  

3.  “They have trouble making decisions. They would rather hike the Himalayas than climb the corporate ladder.”

4.  “a period that will become known as the “Me” Decade.” 

5.  “A generation of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated dribbles.”

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Each generation has the opportunity to rise up to answer the call to the time. By that, they leave a unique mark on history. I look at Generation Y and realize that I’m witnessing history. I’m proud of these people and am committed to helping them to be as successful as they want to be.

This generation doesn’t need critics.

It needs someone to believe in them.

The words from some of the most admired people of the past 60 years resonates best in how we should view and help our youngest generations.

“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.” – John F. Kennedy
“Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.” – Ronald Reagan
“Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God’s word.” – Billy Graham

In scripture, Jesus wanted the children to come to him. He wanted this because he knew their faith was stronger than the older generations around them. They were full of hope and a willingness to worship him and serve with gladness.

That is my hope for this generation. 

 

 

 

 

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Key:

1. Joel Stein, from 2013 TIME Magazine piece on “The Me Me Me Generation”

2. Socrates

3. 1990 issue of TIME Magazine

4. Tom Wolfe from his 1976 book The ‘Me’ decade and the Third Great Awakening”

5. 1771 description of the “hipsters” of the day.

 

 

The other day I was driving in my car and The Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want was playing. It is an iconic song from the Stones but it is also the memorable opening song played during the funeral procession in the movie, The Big Chill.

I remember my parents in the 1980s sharing how much that movie meant to them and how it captured their generation and its joys and struggles. My parents were born in 1944 and 1945 so they would associate themselves with the Baby Boomer Generation but as the joke in the movie Field of Dreams went, they had two fifties and movies straight into the seventies. In other words, they didn’t fully associate themselves with the hippie movement yet they experienced the complexities of the Vietnam era. Like my parents, I have always felt like I was in a lost generation being born in 1978 and am often thrown in either the younger part of Generation X or older in Generation Y.

parenthood-1989

Harper Lee said it best in the book and movie To Kill A Mockingbird,

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Lee’s wisdom applies to how we feel about people of different generations. In my observations, it seems like the newest generation seems to be labeled as the most “selfish” when if we study history, each younger generation was judged in a similar way. For example, in life I have witnessed many people blame the Baby Boomer generation for their perceived lack of morals but as they are getting older, it has given us time to let history tell their story better. By giving them time, we are learning that they are a generation with great strengths and complexities and we can better understand their impact on the way we live today.

I believe we will be better people if we take time to learn about each other, which will minimize incomplete judgments. The past century has been defined by many things but one of them is the way movies can tell each generation’s story. I have compiled a helpful list of movies that best define each generation. The list is compiled from my personal observations, research and comparison of similar lists online and from polling friends. I don’t expect everyone to agree with this list but my hope is for this to be a way to learn more about our generations through the art of movies.

I isolate three types of movies for each generation; cultural, comedy, and war. I want to know what makes people laugh, how they live and what they fight for. I have watched all of these movies and appreciate them uniquely for what they represent. I hope you will enjoy them too.

The Greatest Generation – The “G.I. Generation” or “WWII Generation” (1925-1939))

Silent Generation / The Boomer Generation – “The Sandwich Generation” or “War Babies” Born 1939-1964

Generation X – The “Gen X’ers” or “MTV Generation” Born 1965-1979

Generation Y & Millennials The “Millennial” or “Echo Boomers” Born 1980-1991

Generation Z – The “iGeneration” Born 1991-present

Which movies do you feel best defines your generation? Why?