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Michael Drew Headshot

Generation Whatever

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Whose fault is everything, anyway?

What generation do you want to blame? And how many have you got?

Young people blame their parents, and the parents blame their parents, old people blame the young, middle-aged people blame their kids and their own parents and no one understands why everyone is so out of joint with where the world is. A funny post on Gizmodo, "Generation X Is Sick of Your Bullshit," is pretty much a rant against both assigning and accepting blame depending on "generation."

The thing is, to blame a "generation" for anything at all is simply misreading (and playing into) marketing categorization (and lumping individuals into a generalized generational "other"). Baby Boomers, Gens X, Y, Millennial, blah, blah, blah. It's just too much -- and why would anyone want to be assigned to a single generation? It's limiting in terms of outlook and it confines a person's worldview simply to that of the year or decade in which he or she was born. That's just wrong. And it ignores the fluidity of our emotional and psychological growth, as well as the dynamics of human interaction.

We are more than that: we all of us look at and react to life and society and culture through a continuing and shifting point of view depending on a host of factors, such as social and political and cultural shifts themselves, technological innovation, our own personal journey, the friends we keep, the money we make, the choices that we've lived by.

In our book, Pendulum, my co-author Roy H. Williams and I define generation as "life cohorts bonded by a set of values that dictate the prevailing worldview of the majority." A generation, then, is not set in stone by birthday. It's defined by how you and others see the world, and this is something that evolves. Generation is not your lot to bear because you were born too early or too late.

So, to be gender-neutral: "person up," and accept responsibility and be yourself and move on. Don't say, "My generation does this or that," as a way of shrugging your shoulders, because that's simply passing the buck to a mass of others and saying that you do what you do and feel how you feel just because whatever.

Is that how you want to live? Is that how you want to communicate with anyone? Don't blame me: I'm just the messenger for what others have done, so here's a Bitcoin and go use a Voice Over Internet Protocol to call someone who cares.

Yikes.