Analysis, analytics, data..
I’m overly involved,
At least on a personal level,
Except my metrics are
Meaning, significance, practicality
Instead of the outcomes so associated with
Profit, exit polls, or transcripts.
So this week of examining
Generational differences has left me
Scratching my head
For the numbers are adding up in a different way than I expected.
Maybe my non-mathematical and musically illiterate chakras needed
A shot of adrenaline to see more clearly,
But I think I’ve got it figured out…
My parents were Boomers
Growing up to be guides
Who got me to sports and let me learn from another,
Taught me to solve my own problems,
And provided me the loose boundaries
That allowed me to find my way;
So my Generation X upbringing
Somehow resembled that experienced by my Boomer parents.
Scary as it sounds to me,
I think like them.
Well, when learning about the Gen Y category this week,
I was shocked to learn that my generation
Has totally messed up the current crop of kids.
They claim we are doing everything for them.
They claim we must keep praising them
Because we built their self esteem so high
With ribbons, certificates, and trophies
That they need positive reinforcement
Like a hammer needs a nail.
We argue that they are lazy,
Forgetting that we have scheduled their entire lives
So they rarely ever made any real decisions.
We argue that they whine all the time
Forgetting that we were teenagers once too.
We argue that they don’t listen,
Can’t carry on a conversation, and
Are not able to figure stuff out.
Then we give them a smart phone, tablet,
Or pay their way through school
Without even considering how our parenting
Might really be enabling.
In this time of great information
We, the Xers have really turned ostrich
Burying our head in a self-indulgence groomed in the eighties
That allows us to think travel teams are good parenting,
That using the latest app is knowing technology, and
That good grades are the absolute measure of a person’s worth.
I blame us for the complaints of Gen Y.
I blame all of us for just complaining.
(Finger pointing at me too.)
So in my best pop singer voice,
“I want to bring thinking baaaaaaack!”
I’m hoping my kids are growing up
Realizing that their mutt heritage is a rich source of discussion and humor
That should be accepted with pride
That will overwhelm any threat to the perfection
I may have tried to create in them.
Learn to laugh at yourself, my children.
I’m hoping my kids can consume information,
Whether in line with their beliefs or outside of their broad
Political, sociological, psychological, humor seeking, spiritual, or cuisine craving thoughts,
And recognize the goodness of people
Whatever the label
For the labels only become bad
When the LABELER makes them bad
We can’t be hurt by what others say,
We choose to be.
Call it the Mencia Mantra and believe the old adage
About sticks, stones, and words.
I’m hoping my kids find their way
Not striving to have a big house, fancy car, or high powered job.
I’d rather they be happy, living with those they love,
Raising their kids to understand life is imperfect
And allowing my grandchildren to figure things out
Without their parents being too involved.
I think the Gen Y kids know that perfection does not exist
They know things like advanced, proficient, basic, below basic
Labels, yes? Used appropriately? Hmmm…
They know things.
They get it.
Now, Xers, let them live.