I’ve been wondering where to begin.
Lately, I’ve been spending some time viewing Reels on Facebook because some of them are interesting. Among the most interesting are the responses that my generation, GenX, has been giving other later generations, and there’s a lot of common ground I have with that.
A lot has changed in the last 4 decades. It’s also apparent too that the generation gaps aren’t coming down any time soon. It’s the way of the world, I suppose, and I don’t see it as much different than what has happened before between the Baby Boomers (now abbreviated and made a pejorative by subsequent generations to ‘boomer’). There’s also an implicit criticism from Millenials and Gen Z of how generations failed in making the world better.
Yeah, the world sucks. Generation X had Billy Joel singing, “We didn’t start the fire” to explain it. I don’t think other Generations got that gift:
“We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it…”
What has changed? Well, technology has played an extremely large part of it, for better and worse. That’s fodder for a post on KnowProSE.com that will link here to show the broader context. In the grand scheme of things, I will say that Gen X has been resilient.
We were brought up being told that we could start a job at a company and retire by boomers. Then the 1990s happened, and we saw companies throw their ‘human resources’ under buses just as fast as they could find buses. Later on, toxic debts passed around by banks like a joint at a party eroded (at best) the savings that Generation X had put away for retirement, and that put Millienials and Gen Z at disadvantage because they had been told by Boomers and Gen X that they needed degrees. In the U.S., possibly other places, with no savings to draw from really, student loans became huge debts with almost no employment for the amount of diplomas the education companies (colleges) churned out. That impacted the global economy since there was less disposable income.
That’s just one facet.
Life has this tendency to move on even when it sucks. Overall, I’d say that GenX embraced the suck maybe because we weren’t hugged enough by Baby Boomers, which maybe had a lot to do with what some in GenX perceive as the overhugging of Millenials and Gen Z. You can’t pretend the world into being better. It doesn’t work.
We forget at times too that simple things like healthcare – not health insurance! – actively decreased the number of people who would be saying, and voting, about healthcare. Here’s a thought for Millenials and GenZ: Stop talking about health insurance, start talking about healthcare. Democracy, like every other –acy and -ism, is decided by those who survive, not by those we have lost.
Oh, and if you’ve suddenly picked up on socialism or communism – I get it, they’re interesting theories until you add humans. Humans muck everything up. If you haven’t figured that out yet, you will.
My generation saw the birth of the Internet, and speaking for myself, we saw corporations and governments muck that up too, because – and this is not new either – we keep electing politicians instead of people who can actually be productive. I’d like to say our generation made strides here, but instead because of the strife it seems we’ve managed to become more polarized. We have been electing morons around the world with greater frequency. You’ll likely do the same. I hope not, but you likely will.
I wish I could just put out a roadmap of how to make the world a better place, but having worked with people who claimed to be doing so… some were even sincere… I must tell you that the most suspicious people in the world are the ones who have all the answers. Why? They cherry pick the questions.
I think that there’s a few books that could be written about all of this, and some will be, but… it’s unlikely to be on TikTok because it’s deep, it’s involved, and it’s important. There’s so much that’s important.
The torch is being passed on even as I write this, and I’ll just tell everyone… be careful. The oil on it is hot, and it burns.
For a TikTok, think of the reasons why you don’t cook bacon naked. Don’t make that a challenge.
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