When I wrote about Generations of Fear:
Each generation is motivated by a hope and a fear. The hope is that we ‘leave the world a better place than when we entered it’ or ‘want a better life for my children’. Fears tend to change with each generation . From where I sit,
- Boomers feared lack of security – keep your job, don’t move house, look after the family. A few wars and the threat of nuclear destruction will do that to even die-hard risk takers. Stick at the same job/company so that your children have a better start in life (hope).
- Gen X fear lack of success. Not quite as adamant about ‘job for life’ or ‘same house that I was born in’, Gen X nevertheless are fearful of looking silly. Try something, fail, give up and get a real job. Work hard, moving up the ladder in different companies, don’t fail, so that your children can have more opportunities (hope).
- Gen Y fear not finding their passion. By not connecting to their passion and with others that share similar passions, Gen Y fear they will not have a voice and will end up being ignored. In a world where fame can be had for the price of a YouTube video, being ignored means you don’t exist. Take risks, fail, but whatever you do, don’t be boring. Fail Forward into Fame and Fortune. Oh and there’s no point standing still and trying to figure out something in depth because the world is in state of continual flux, and so you had better keep skating ahead of the changes. Keep changing jobs, careers, stay flexible, until you find what you love, so that your children will learn to be their own person (hope).
I really doubt that Gen Y will take to college education in the same way and for the same reasons as Boomers and X’ers. They marry younger, have children younger, start their own business younger.
… I thought there would be a backlash. People telling me fear is not the prime motivator. In fact I was hoping they would. Although sometimes I think Fear can be our friend, it’s not the sort of friend you want moving into your house. More the type you take on an extreme sports weekend.
Family. Hope. This Video is Awesome.Won 2nd prize in the u@50 competition by AARP. 4 and 1/2 million views. I know when you get home from work that you fear the kids are ‘just playing on the computer’ in their bedroom but I hope they are making content like this.
Saw the video and an email that someone sent to me, quoting me on Gen Y at the same time as I was thinking: if there was no TV, no newspapers, no prepackaged content, what would we do? I mean, I like reading, but what if there were no books? The world would be a poorer and richer place. A bit like when kids finish school and are at home for the holidays. They aren’t learning (traditional) but – once they get over being at a loose end – they are creative.
Can we have both, please?