WARNING: This blog post is written with a decidedly generational bias. It's somewhat tongue in cheek. I like you all. Take everything with a grain of salt :)
"Generation X is a generation that can sneakily trump Boomer narcissism and Millennial entitlement."
I'm a Gen Xer... and proud of it. Those of us born between the mid 60's and late 70's were called some pretty ridiculous things by The Boomers, desperate to affix a giant visible black mark on the generation who were rebelling against their big, loud booming.
Yesterday I received YET ANOTHER facebook invitation to YET ANOTHER pyramid scheme that is becoming nauseatingly common these days. It must be the fertile ponzi breeding ground of social media, toxically combined with Gen Y and Boomer "go getterness" It's not necessarily that there is anything WRONG with them, it's just so... so... so... You only get to have a few messages in life people will listen to. Magic bean evangelism maybe shouldn't be one of them? I tweeted the other day:
A few years ago, Jeff Gordinier wrote a book called "X Saves the World. How Generation X Got the shaft but can still keep everything from sucking." He began the project as a bit of a "where are they now" piece (commissioned by a Boomer) about the failure of Generation X to accomplish as much as the Boomers and how Generation Y/Millennials where showing them up, thus proving their existence to be just as gloomy as Boomer-predicted. I'm paraphrasing :)
His conclusion was substantially different. Gordinier sees a generation of people doing the quiet work of keeping North America from sucking. Generation X really doesn't much care about limelight and are sick of the kitschy mythology of the Boomers and the sometimes shameless greed and entitlement of the Millennials/Yers. There is an excellent book called "Not Everyone Gets A Trophy: How To Manage Generation Y" that's title is very telling.
Gen X doesn't want the trophy anyway. It's unimportant. Gen X (now aged 48-33ish) are people who according to Gordinier have "internalized our in betweenness with middle child sensibility" between Y and The Boom. Gen X is still detached, skeptical and questioning but are more concerned with improving the REAL world of real life. We're FAR less interested in the mass acquisition at any cost. X'er rebellion to the Macro Boomers was with rediscovery of the way to make a difference without having to hold a parade about it.
"There isn't anything Generation X hates more than everything"
I make no mistake that it DID start with us as jaded teens rebelling against our previous generation. But so what? That's EVERY generation. What has happened is that we grew up and stepped up... because that's what happens to grown up. Now Gen X plays an important role. We don't buy things that are crap. Our BS meter is very sensitive and when it's used in a balanced, under control way, it keep our society from being too big for our britches or getting too big a head.
"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment..."
I drove to work yesterday thinking about my 13 years of marriage. We've never had a ton of money and don't buy much in the way of luxury because we've rarely (if ever) both worked at the same time. It's not been by design but we both have had things we care about doing that doesn't always pay us money to do. I've had the chance to innovate and explore in media and ministry and Krissy has been able to be at home with our kids, not because of a Normal Rockwell idyllic magazine cover, but because it's quietly very important to her.
We just don't play the game. Actually there is no game. Too often people get fooled into believing there is one. I realized how proud I am of us for being Gen X'ers who don't care... about everything. We care intensely about the things that are important. But not at all about lots of trappings that I watch other fall into.
OK I get it that Gen X isn't "saving the world" but it's far from the deep dark chasm that many predicted it to be. In fact, there are many admirable attributes we have developed and now play an important societal role.