Consider this the beginnings of a manifesto.
There was an unusual amount of chatter this past week about “the younger generation.” Or at least it caught my attention more than usual. Apparently, we don’t want to work to be successful. We shy away from sweating. We’re self-interested, lazy ne’er-do-wells. Bad attitudes, expect the world handed to us, etc. etc. etc.
Now, this has all been said before about previous generations by their seniors. So, it’s not like this is surprising or unexpected.
People try to get us down
From the older generation’s viewpoint, yeah, we probably don’t put in the work to be successful. We don’t sweat. We are self-interested and not dedicated enough and have bad attitudes…
…as it relates to their values, expectations and definitions.
Shift to a different point of view. We’re eager to be significant. We’re ready to pour sweat, tears and blood into work we believe in. We’re just not buying in to the deferred-life plan of waiting for our turn to enjoy life.
Just because we get around
Maybe we’re selfish hedonists. Admittedly, we’re young enough to still be too idealistic. But that will change as we mature. But we’ve grown up knowing that we’ll hold multiple careers across several companies. We’ve seen the retirement savings our parents and grandparents evaporate overnight. We know we’ll never see Social Security benefits that we’ve paid in to for several years already. It’s not hard to see why we might see the world and do things a little differently.
We each have a unique, individualized dream for ourselves. The house in the suburbs, 2 kids, a dog and/or cat that our parents wanted and got… some of us want that too. Some of us want something very different. But what we share is valuing the choice and opportunity to make a life that fits us and our families. We value that each individual has a unique dream and is finding the way toward realizing it.
We’re a generation that admires its artisans – the cooks, bakers, tailors and brewers – just as much as we admire business professionals and executives. More than anything, we’re a generation that admires passion in all its forms. We cheer just as much when a friend finishes grad school as we do when another friend opens his first brewery.
Myself… I have the wonderful good fortune to count so many passionate people as friends: entrepreneurs, developers, artists, actors, musicians, dancers, adventurers, writers, cooks, bakers, brewers, bartenders, Marines, pilots, community organizers, lawyers and more. All creative, brilliant people. All doing what they do to affect the world for the better. All makers in their own right.
That’s what I see: a generation of makers, of passionate individuals. Each one dedicated to a unique dream. Each one dedicated to ensuring their friends and families reach their dreams. We believe deeply in ourselves and even more deeply in one another.
I don’t know about you, but these are the kind of people I want in my life.
Please share this post with others and tell me what you think in the comments below. This one’s worth starting a discussion over.