Hey Boomers and Gen Xers…STFU

As a fifty-something mid-lifer and a very late Baby Boomer and very early Generation Xer, I frequently find myself in the company of those within ten or so years of my age. It amazes me how many in this age bracket believe I am predominantly like-minded and share many of the same philosophies and ideas they do. They feel free to share their thoughts as if our matching ages will somehow automatically synchronize our opinions.

Wrong.

Perhaps the most prominent area of my opinion departure from many of my contemporaries concerns the judgment of the younger generation, namely the “dreaded” Millennials.

There are so many negative judgments freely and casually dispersed upon the Millennials I cannot keep track. According to many of us old farts, the Millennials are -entitled, lazy, selfish, assholes, narcissistic, rude, obtuse, fill-in-the-blank, etc… so much so it is to the extent they are oblivious to the necessary cultural skill set to be effective in contemporary society.

Please. To borrow texting shorthand from my beloved Millennials, STFU old people.

Many of my contemporaries fail to realize it is THEY who have changed, not the 20-something generation.

Standpoint theory suggests that we are constantly viewing life from where we stand and that stance is in constant flux as we age, travel, learn, and well, just live and love. It would seem from listening to the old farts that the first thing to go as we age is memory.

Hey boomers and gen Xers, remember what it was like to be 20? Remember having no direction or idea where you were headed? Remember thinking the world revolved around you? Remember all the dumbass stuff you did that you would love to take back? Remember what it was like to occasionally feel alone and isolated? Remember what it was like to search for identity?

If you want to look at our Millennials and have any critique whatsoever, that critique must be about US and the world WE created for this young generation. Perhaps they are entitled because we handed out participation trophies and heaped praise where none was earned. In our quest to build self-esteem in our children we built false delusions of hope where there was none.

So, old farts, every time you open your mouth and criticize the kids today, you are criticizing yourself. We are the ones that raised this generation so, I suppose you can say, we, as a village, were bad parents.

Yet, alas, I do not believe the Millennials are entitled, lazy, selfish, assholes, narcissistic, rude, obtuse, fill-in-the-blank, etc… at least not any more than we were at that age.

I love Millennials. I love nearly everything about them. Sure they look at their phones a lot, though frankly, not much more on any given day than I, and probably you, do. A good friend of mine, Paul, a high school teacher in Reno, recently stated they had a faculty meeting specifically to address the concern of students and their cellphone use in class. He told me the meeting was a miserable failure as most of the faculty was continually staring down at their phone and not paying attention.

Hypocrites.

I love to bask in the energy of youth and entertain their curiousness and lust for life. I love speaking with my students who may share a “brand new” revelatory idea with zeal and enthusiasm, yet I do not have the heart to tell them this idea was around when I was in school. And why should I tell them? I want them to discover life on their terms, not to mention how many times I have fallen victim to the same thing….remember temporalcentrism?

But wait Millennials, you don’t get off so easy. This next paragraph is for you.

tbh u all can be just as guilty af of old fart disease, or in your case aka yung fart disease, smh. some of u like to complain about todays children being rude or sittin on their tablets during family dinnr. well, tablets r nuthin new as we had em in the 70s. we also would stare at r private screens at the kitchen table during dinnr. they were called etch-a-sketches. so dont be a old fart at a yung age, rofl

(Please notice I never defended the texting-caused bastardization of the English language of Millennials…but I digress).

Imagine if it was socially acceptable to marginalize entire groups of people based solely on a demographic. Oh, wait, we have. Over the years the powerful have marginalized blacks, Jews, gays, and the list goes on -we call them racists, homophobes and anti-semites. Why is it now ok to marginalize one group based entirely on age? In a weird way, it somewhat like reverse age-ism.

So, please, old farts, just in the same way my white friends will not secretly whisper to me the problem with “the blacks” simply because we share our whiteness, please do not bore me and reveal your ignorance with your stereotyped opinions of the youth today….just cause I am around your age.  This criticism says far more about you and your ignorance than the youth and their “entitlements.”

Ily Millennials. And I suppose it would be good advice for ALL OF US, to take a break from our phones every now and then.

And STFU old farts. And be the AITR.

jimmysintension

4 Comments

  1. OK Jimmy…I felt I had to weigh in on this one. You are exposed to millennials all day, where most Baby Boomers aren’t. Many Baby Boomers think that Millennials eat Tide Pods, play video games and do dumb shit like that all day…
    I won’t say all Millennials do stupid shit just as I can’t say all Baby Boomers don’t, the Baby Boomers have learned to do their stupid shit out of the public’s eye ( or we did the same stupid stuff they are doing now and learned from it).
    I say let ’em make their mistakes, you learn more from your mistakes than your successes anyhow… Besides they have the Balls to stand up to the NRA and in my book that’s pretty cool…

    • Hi Craig…I love when you weigh in! Thank you. Perhaps many believe millennials eat Tide Pods and play video games all day, yet I do recall having a pet rock, playing pac man, and doing some really weird shit I refuse to write here when in my 20’s. It goes to memory…we just prefer to look at ourselves through the lens of our more refined and mature current self when we reflect…and conveniently forget the weird stuff. Thanks again Craig…please keep in touch.

  2. As an 80 year old, I am not really a Baby Boomer, having been born “before” the “War” so will speak as an independent observer. I did no rebellious acts growing up, missed going to war in Vietnam, got a degree , worked for 38 years, retired, buried a wife, and am now “involved” with a sweet lady. During my growing up I have observed unbridled patriotism, fearfulness of oblivion (the Cold War) , unbridled rebellion during the Vietnam war, unbridled search for “freedom” during the “hippie” movement, political stability despite violent changes in the office of the President, etc, etc on up to the current bull shit going on in Washington. What puzzles me the most is what happened to all the “hippies”. How is it that those folks apparently just disappeared, or at least their ideals did. Why have they not sought leadership positions in industry and government to push their ideals? Or, are did they just become “Baby Boomers” and raise their kids to be the “Millenials” that will accomplish the achievement of their parents ideals? If that’s the case, “houston we have a problem” because the “Millenials” are independent thinkers and are attempting to change much more that their parents ever envisioned. I just wish I could be around to see all they can accomplish.

    • Don! I have not heard from you in a while. So pleased to take note you are still sticking with me through all my blog weirdness. I really think you are on to something and it truly has me thinking. “…did they just become “Baby Boomers” and raise their kids to be the “Millenials” that will accomplish the achievement of their parents ideals?” GREAT point! In a weird way, I was born too late to be a TRUE hippie, yet still share many of the same hippie sentiments as I watched them growing up and it had a profound influence on my thinking and subsequent parenting. I think you are spot on…I most definitely raised my four children in “hippie” ideals though I was not truly one (unless you could of been a 6 year-old hippie in 1969). These are contemporary hippies with a strong dusting of entitlement…they do not see themselves as counter-cultural like the 60’s version did, which really supports your point. The Millennials are so damn unconventional and, like you, am eager to see them work their magic in the years to come. You may exit the planet before me, though I will be sure to fill you in when our energies collide once again. Thank you so much for the response. I deeply respect and admire your perspective.

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