Friday, September 4, 2015

Own vs Rent

I read the below article in the Guardian the other day about a recent Pew study on how millennials view themselves and thought well that doesn't surprise me.

In my observations and encounters  the MEllinneals are incredibly label obsessed all aspects of life - from material possessions to the odd hybrids/acronyms and names they affix to others and to themselves; and all while decrying any type of categorizing to the point where free speech is utterly suppressed. There can be no books or speech with words that have a "trigger" than can offend or harm. I don't think a day goes by where I don't read some personal narrative, journal entry disguised as a news article in the Washington Post where it is both a scold and a whine. They do this better than anyone.

Many millennials – the age group generally defined as those between 18 and 34 – don’t think much of their own generation, according to a new poll.

The Pew Research Center study showed that millennials had far more negative views of their generation compared with Generation Xers, baby boomers or other age groups. More than half of millennials, 59%, described their generation as “self-absorbed” while 49% said they were “wasteful” and 43% said they were “greedy”.

Around 30% of Generation Xers — those ages 35 and 50 — said their own generation was self-absorbed and wasteful, and 20% of the baby boomers said the same about their age cohort.

Millennials “stand out in their willingness to ascribe negative stereotypes to their own generation” the study said. The older the group, the more positively they saw themselves, the Pew study found.

The so-called “Silent Generation” — those ages 70-87 — overwhelmingly described themselves as hard-working, responsible and patriotic, at 83%, 78% and 73%. The baby boomers were not far behind, picking those same three words to describe themselves, at 77%, 66% and 52% respectively.

But only 12% of millennials and 26% of Generation X said they were patriotic; 24% of millennials and 43% of the Gen Xers said they were responsible; while 36% of millennials and 54% of Generation X said they were hard-working.

Many millennials don’t even want to be identified as such, with 60% not considering themselves to be part of the “millennial generation.”
Millennials want to work for employers committed to values and ethics
Read more

Instead 33% say they are part of Generation X.

The Silent Generation also didn’t want to be pigeonholed. Like the millennials only 18% considered themselves part of the group. Instead more identified as being with the baby boomers at 34% or the older demographic “Greatest Generation” at 34%.

Generational identity was strongest among the baby boomers, with 79% of those within the applicable age group identifying with the “baby-boom” generation.

The poll was conducted using Pew’s American Trends Panel among 3,147 respondents, initially selected over the phone but mostly interviewed online.

And in response to this ever growing and demanding group we are seeing some changes. The idea of work life balance with increased maternity leave, changing the way performance evaluations are done, the way work environments are created and yet little is actually changed.  Underneath the new ideas are few who actually will avail themselves of any of it as this New York Times article discusses, and of course the family dynamics are often replicated in the ways they grew up. The difference is they are still living in cities versus suburbs but give it time that too will change.

 I find them utterly unimaginative and utterly lacking in any intellectual curiosity.  I have found that the idea of risk taking is something to do with technology and nothing more. They are as provincial as any 50's family regardless of gender, sexual preference or race.  They aspire to have nuclear families, have nice homes and will push anyone out versus move out in order to still be in the city and have the mask of sophistication they felt were denied them living in small town suburbia.

And yes I am generalizing and I am unkind.  I work with them, live near them and try to understand and connect to them and then I read the article below. The blame laying, finger pointing are all very much a part of their generation.  This they did master and should be proud.  Hence I agree they are not the ones who will bring change and growth in America, they will borrow it from someone else as this is the generation who gave us the sharing economy.

Why own it when you can borrow it and not have to worry about care or its ability to last.  That is what they do best, pass it and swipe it. When you don't need it just dump it.  My god this one boomers we may be responsible for these lessons as we invented the ME culture which again shows that this generation can't even find their own narcissism.

Why are the baby boomers desperate to make millennials hate ourselves?
Eleanor Robertson
The Guardian
September 3, 2015

New statistics from the Pew research centre show the youngest workers have totally internalised the messaging of the luckiest generation in human history

‘Of the surveyed generations, Millennials had by far the lowest regard for their own cohort.’

Back in 1999 Chris Sidoti, then-head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, called the baby boomers “the most selfish generation in history”.

“I don’t think there’s been a generation like this that has been so unwilling to pay a fair share of taxation,” he said.

Millennials see themselves as greedy, self-absorbed and wasteful, study finds

This week the Pew Research Centre released a report showing that just 24% of millennials, defined as those born between 1981 and 1997, considered themselves responsible, compared to 66% of boomers.

This pattern is repeated across a number of self-reported virtues: 27% of millennials consider their generation self-reliant, just 17% consider themselves moral, and 29% think we’re compassionate.

For baby boomers, those figures are much higher: 51%, 46% and 47%.

Of the surveyed generations, millennials had by far the lowest regard for their own cohort. Asked to reflect on his comments in June this year, Sidoti re-affirmed his opinions, saying that millennials are “hard done by” and labouring under an enormous sense of pressure:

I see among the Gen Y and the millenials

Contrasting the Pew survey with Sidoti’s comments, a clear picture emerges: western millennials believe that we’re failures – immoral and irresponsible. We believe we’re not proper adults. We believe we’re lazy and self-absorbed. Basically, we believe what the baby boomers have told us. We’ve drunk their Kool-Aid.

Last October, on a similar theme, I wrote:

No wonder a quarter of young people are struggling with mental illness. Born into a bizarro world controlled by baby boomers who have comprehensively shafted us, it’s a credit to our resilience and adaptability that we’ve managed to get this far at all.

The boomer mentality goes like this: get a good education. Get a well-paying full-time job. Find a stable partner. Buy a house and a car. Preferably, have a child. Failing any stage of this process is a reflection of your self-worth and indicates a lack of moral fibre.

With regional variations, millennials have absorbed our parents’ world view. We consider these expectations reasonable, and we blame ourselves for not living up to them.

Of course, it’s all a trick. The global conditions that enabled a middle-class existence are evaporating, and are being replaced by an economic system whose function is the transfer of wealth to the lucky few.

The boomer mentality has an odd amount of sticking power considering it only briefly bore any relationship to reality. For thousands of years, wealth has been concentrated in the hands of a select few, who have used this power to exploit and oppress everyone else. The economist Thomas Piketty writes that in all known societies, the bottom 50% of the population has owned virtually nothing.

Globally, this is still true today. The situation grows ever worse. Knowing this about human history, it seems profoundly delusional for the boomers, a generation permitted a fleeting taste of a dignified existence, to believe this occurred because of their superior work ethic.

Yet this is what boomers want us to think, and we oblige. Never mind that none of it is true. Never mind that believing these toxic fictions is making young people sick, sad and hopeless. Never mind that this is exactly the same process that causes poor people of all ages to believe they are at fault for their poverty.

And never mind that the point of this ideology is to discipline young people’s behaviour through weaponised self-loathing. Instead of demanding better, we engage in futile competition over crumbs. Instead of questioning why life often feels meaningless, why we feel so alienated and inadequate, we turn these beliefs inward. Instead of using this shared experience to build solidarity with each other, we feel shame.

If all this is our own fault, what’s the point?

But it’s not our fault. If we’re ashamed of ourselves, we lose sight of the fundamental interdependence of human beings. We start to believe that because we’re worthless, people with more owe us nothing. Crucially, we perpetuate the problem by believing we have no responsibilities to those less fortunate than us.

Such a mentality makes us territorial, competitive and resentful. The ultimate outcome is the intentional waste of human potential, so that the tiny few who benefit may continue to do so.

Reading these latest statistics, it’s crucial that our generation – millennials, Gen Y, whatever we want to call ourselves – abandons this preposterous narrative. It is crucial that we acknowledge the socially determined nature of human existence and stop believing that running faster on the hamster wheel will get us anywhere different.

This is a myth that applied to a handful of people who grew up in the post-war period, and at no other point in the history of humankind. The only purpose it serves now is to legitimise the increasingly desperate situation in which we find ourselves.

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