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Generations of Concern

| Sep 11, 2017 | Firm News |

Barbara K. Armstrong, Paralegal

I went to a conference last year and a discussion was had regarding the different generations. Of course, the subject of millennials and how they just don’t seem to have the same work ethic as the generations before them was a hot topic. It seems to me that every generation has always thought that the one that came after them would never amount to anything.

The “Greatest Generation” or “Builders” believed their path to success was to:

  1. Serve your country,
  2. Find a good job,
  3. Fulfill your “role” in life,
  4. Build the institution,
  5. Stay steady and remain faithful, and
  6. Retire on a fixed income.

They were a great generation who fathered the “Baby Boomers.” The Boomers believed their path to success was in valuing intelligence and education by:

  1. Maintaining good grades,
  2. Getting an education,
  3. Reforming the institution,
  4. Working hard and saving,
  5. Downsizing, and
  6. Living your life to the fullest.

Then we have “Generation X,” or “Busters.” They became disenchanted with the “institution.” This generation rebelled against the previous establishment and became politically disengaged.

  1. Many came from broken homes,
  2. Went to college,
  3. Went into debt,
  4. Worked to live,
  5. Were hyper parents, and
  6. Had “perfect children.”

Millennials are involved in personalized technology. You can’t go anywhere and not see someone on their cell phone or tablet. At a restaurant, you see four people sitting with each other but not talking as they are looking at their phones. Millennials:

  1. Are individualized,
  2. Lack patience,
  3. Seek to find a shared sense of reality,
  4. Believe they can own their career through another’s business,
  5. Believe if everything is the same, then nothing can have meaning, and
  6. Love.

I come from the “Baby Boomer” generation. I was at the latter end. I have raised a Generation X’er, one on the cusp, and a Millennial. I’ve watched their friends grow up, and some now have families of their own. I can tell you that they are all going to be all right. The way I see it, as long as you become a productive part of society in all ways, then I don’t see anything to worry about. The Millennials will be just fine, and I am sure that they will do whatever they need to do to make sure that they succeed in life on their own terms.