I AM NOT ALONE!
This is confession time. I confess that when I was a kid I used to think my parents were old. 30 seemed so…well…ancient. 35 digging for bones. 40 way over the hill. 45 half way in the grave. 50 sayonara. Now I are one and more. (For the record, kicking and screaming toward 60).
All that to say, I never really gave two bits for generational stuff. I couldn’t have told you what generation I was in or any others. Until now. I am reading a really, really informative book that is giving me a whole new light to shine on some of the people I work with. The book is called The Millennials. I saw it and wrote this young leader about it. He recommended it without reservation. I usually am turned off by “survey” books, but this one is really giving me an understanding of today’s generation. For the record, here are the generations as listed in the book:
G.I. Generation (1904-1924)
Silent Generation (1925-1945)
Boomer Generation (1946-1964)
Gen X (1965-1979)
Millennial Generation (1980-2000)
Each generation has had its unique markers. I remember well spending time with my grandfather-a welder for US Steel-a company no longer around. A college education was not necessary to make a decent living. My parents were part of the Silent Generation, aka Swing Generation because they were between the G.I. and Boomers. The Cleavers we weren’t, but we stayed a working father/stay-at-home mom family. Then there’s me-a Boomer. My two girls are Gen X-ers, although one barely made it. The Millennials have overtaken the Boomers in sheer size, but there are a lot of parallels. There are also some glaring differences. As the book shows there are some major themes that run through this generation:
They are Hopeful
They are Relational
They are Learners
Like I said, they have their good and bad points (every other generation did also except the Boomers…I kid). I realize no formula fits any one group of people. But this book has really given me a better “eye” toward this generation. I certainly am understanding the thoughts I run into a little bit better. I may not always agree (although they do have some good points if one listens), but I am finding myself saying, “Oh, so that is why.” Or “Oh, now it makes more sense that…”
Most important of all, I am gaining insight into their religious (or is it lack of) thought. I have no intention of skirting the spiritual issue, nor of compromising my belief in Jesus. But it is giving me a platform to understand. And, in many way, it is giving me
that this current generation might become one that might “redeem” the time we have left. To know more about this do one of three things. Read the book. Check out Jonathan’s blog. Or check out this blog.
Your turn. Which generation do you fall into? Your thoughts on the current crop? Have you read the book or checked out Jonathan’s blog?