Why Gen X-ers Will Never Fail

by Karina Leigh - Date: 2006-12-10 - Word Count: 1344 Share This!

It still amuses me when I hear Baby Boomers comment on how they - as a generation - failed. I've now heard that sentiment enough times to realize that there could be actual juice to it. My amusement isn't in mockery of their generation; I'm certainly in no position to cast contemptuous eyes their way. It amuses me because in comparison to my generation, the Gen X-ers, the Baby Boomers have much to be proud of.

After hearing the rueful musings of how the Baby Boomers "failed", I began looking at my own generation. Would I someday be lamenting the failure of my own generation? Would I later find regret in the path my generation tread?

The answer troubled me. Gen X-ers have a foolproof solution. Gen X-ers will never fail because they don't do anything. They don't protest the war. They don't spend their free time doing volunteer work. They don't study social, economic or political issues. They aren't offended or disturbed by anything, so they don't stand up for what's right when they see an injustice or mistreatment of another.

While we all know of exceptions, the average Gen X-er is tunneled-visioned into a perpetual state of delusion and distraction. This is a generation who was easily brainwashed into believing that life revolves around technology and name brand fashion. Don't worry about anything else, just look good and make sure your cell phone/PDA is totally current. Don't worry about reading the news, any political/social/environmental message you need will be delivered during MTV's Music Awards show in someone's thank you speech. Don't worry about giving back to your community by volunteering, someone else will do it for you while you are out shopping at Armani and eating a $50 lunch.

But, let's not come down too hard on the Gen X-ers. They didn't turn themselves into dead wood entirely on their own.

One of the issues that I see with Gen X-ers is this resistance toward thinking for themselves. Gen X-ers are like sheep. They'll do whatever everyone else is doing. Instead of thinking for themselves, they look to others for guidance on how to live their lives, how to think, vote, accessorize and do their hair. This is probably why all Gen X-ers look the same. Sheep, I tell you. No one dares to look or be different from their peers.

But, in their defense, thinking is hard. It requires a critical mind, creativity and thinking "outside the damn box". It requires that you focus on something for roughly five or more minutes. It might even require you to ask questions that will help you uncover hidden agendas, peer pressure, lies, games - even the truth. And oh, the worst of it is that after you gather all that information, you might have to go against popular vote. You might be the sole person in your ritzy crowd of Republican friends who voted for Gore because you believe that education and the environment need to be nurtured for once. Or you might decide to wear fishnet arm warmers to dinner at Sage even though your Newport Coast friends gawk at you like you are a rockabilly freak.

My other suspicion is that Gen X-ers got jaded. Has anyone noticed that nothing seems to offend them? And with the Gen Ys, it's even worse! Nothing fazes them. But right now, the Gen X-ers, whose core group is between 25-45 (in 2006) have the power to control and drive a majority of the media. Gen X-ers are driving popular culture - movies, video games, music and TV shows. Southpark, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hustle & Flow, Grand Theft Auto, Gangsta Rap? Nothing seems to offend us. Vulgar language, no problem. Excessive violence, sure. Video games that allow kids to pick up hookers, cool. No wonder we hear about the youth of America being killed in senseless circumstances and think "oh well" before switching over to "Wife Swap".

The Baby Boomers wouldn't have had the same reaction. When they started cussing, it was to make a statement; to demonstrate rebellion against the status quo. They were angry at what was occurring in the world, and they used cussing to authentically express their outrage. They weren't cussing to be bad ass or cool and they weren't using it as filler words either. Since violence was highly discouraged, cussing was the most aggressive method used. They abhorred violence, and protested against the mistreatment of their brothers and sisters. The Baby Boomers sought peace, love and pure happiness. Unity with one another, unity with the universe.

If you mention the concept of Unity to a Gen X-er, they will give you a blank stare unless there happens to be a company who makes Unity Jeans, at which point they will ramble effusively if a celebrity happened to be caught wearing them recently.

Gen X-ers don't seem to be connected to one another or the world (the environment, humanity, spirituality) in any authentic, substantial way. They might go to church (to hook up with someone new). They might do volunteer work (per a court order for community service from a DUI). They might have a bunch of "friends" they are linked to because they all love to drink martinis in blaring, loud clubs (where no one could possibly ever have a legitimate, intelligent conversation).

Are you building rich, powerful friendships? Are you giving back to your community? Are you leaving an imprint on someone's heart for your good deeds and heartfelt efforts? Are your opinions or insights enlightening another person? Are you helping another by sharing your life experience or education with others for their edification? Are you fighting for what's ethical, moral and just? Do you stand up for what's right, even if you are the only one in the group who feels that way?

Or are you jaded? When you hear that the youth of America is dying in a "fake war", do you care? The Baby Boomers were ignited by moral indignation; this very thing led to intense protesting and highly vocal objections. Shedding blood for money was immoral and unjust; it literally ruptured the hearts of our young Americans.

The government and media love jaded people because they don't stand up for anything. They'll never say, "That's out of line" or "That's just wrong". And even if they do, it will likely never translate into any kind of action. They'll never protest or walk away from things that cross the line. They'll line up like sheep and absorb the newest thing; and in doing so, they further harden their hearts. They'll sit there and take it because it's what everyone else is doing, watching and listening to. It's what's cool, so they might as well accept it, even if it is degrading, mean-spirited, crude or violent. The media loves jaded people because they can walk all over them, take their money, and dump the ugliest trash possible into their minds, and then laugh over how they played them like little wood violins.

The Baby Boomers would have been outraged. The human mind, body and soul is not a trash can where others can deposit their anger, rage, and rudeness. We are human beings who deserve to be treated, filled and surrounded by peace, love and respect.

The Baby Boomers fought for these things. They set a beautiful foundation for us, but that foundation became buried under a generation of people willing to do anything for some attention and a dollar. A generation of people who were willing to insult, offend and abuse others to gain wealth and notoriety. And that can end today. The greatest gift and their greatest success is that the Baby Boomers built an model for us that we can easily return to. The power rests in our hands. With your support, you can make an entity successful. By walking away, we can also cause any entity to fail. We, the Gen X-ers, have the power and the choice to be able to return to the roots that still remain within the earth, to pull those roots into current times and to grow something that reawakens the heart, spirit and soul of humanity.

Related Tags: activism, baby boomers, gen x, generation, activists

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