Good Afternoon, readers! Lens of The People is a column dedicated to the capture of the real-life scenarios and events in the local Houston area whilst also giving the thoughts and opinions of the Houston community itself its own voice to speak through.
“Young V. Old: What makes us different?”
If there’s a topic that’s truly as old as time, it’s this one. There’s always been a sort of “gap” between one generation and the one that came before it. As we all know, as time passes, so too does the culture of life itself. Newer technology is developed, different trends come and go and even the current economic atmosphere are all things that have an impact on the status quo. It is because of this change in status quo between different generations that creates a lack of understanding between them. It’s easy to say that “kids these days don’t know this or know this” or that people older than you “just don’t understand” when you aren’t willing to take the time to learn their perspective beyond what you can see. With that said, this week’s question is:
“What is the difference between the younger generations (Millennials and Gen Z) and the older ones (Boomers and Gen X)?”
Let’s see what the people have to say:
“Well, I have more consistent access to resources that will make me successful, as well as the chance to be educated. Our mindsets are different due to life now being more dangerous within this sensitive society. Also, I’m more open minded. I guess our generation is overall more accepting to a greater variety of things, and media and technology plays a huge part in our lives, while their life experiences were much more hands on.” -Javarhea Thompson
“The difference between older and younger generations is that the younger generations have a limited sense of morality and feel like they are entitled to things without putting in the work to earn it.” -Dequita Hall
“The difference between younger and older generations is that younger ones have not been taught basic life skills. They’re not being taught manners, or home training or even basic respect. And the place where we as the older generation learned that stuff was in school. But you just don’t have those kinds of things anymore. Especially respect, because if they had respect they wouldn’t be doing some of the things they do today. Just simple things like cooking, cleaning and accountability are things that we had to learn growing up and expected of us to know and comprehend. In school, we had to learn to iron, sew buttons, and make something out of wood or we just failed. And I feel like if the younger generation had that kind of pressure, their mindsets would be stronger, and we’d have more leaders than followers.” -Trista Waddy
“I believe the difference between the millennial and baby boomer generation is two simple things: Technology and Politics. In the baby boomer age, we were just creating the first computers and landing on the moon. Millennials came and had another but even bigger and arguably more significant technological boom with cell phones, computers, cars, and even in space exploration we kept things going at such a fast pace I think the older generations found it hard to keep up. Even the political spectrum for them is vastly different compared to the millennial generation. Boomers have more of a compromise mindset than we do now where younger people think it’s either my way or the highway. They believed in more affordable healthcare like we do but they focused more on the middle class and the unions a lot more than we do now, in fact very little talk about the middle class and unions nowadays. Millennials and boomers are a set of generations that are laying or have already laid foundation for new things to come. You can only hope that one generation keeps upholding the laws and rules set out by the other for the betterment of society.” -Shamus Conley
I don’t believe younger and older generations to be very different at all. As I said before, it’s easy to pass judgement upon and assume that one is lacking something that you believe to have if you’ve never lived within their truth of the world. I think that older generations are hasty to latch on to the idea that we as the younger generation have no goals or values, and combined with the fact that the 70’s, 80’s and even early 90’s are so deeply rooted and fetishized in what people believe to be the best years of America’s culture, I believe that it’s not so much that the younger generation has no drive but that many simply believe that there’s no reason to. Many of us have simply never been encouraged to do what we want or explore ourselves as a person at a young age, which is something that many of us are taking the time to do now as adults. I also believe that many of us are looking into the deeper meanings of existing concepts such as “respect” and “values,” and looking past the superficial lens that older society has become accustomed to and tolerated simply because someone older than them taught them so. I believe that the younger generation simply doesn’t believe in showing respect to anyone that doesn’t value them as a person before anything else. And while that obviously can’t be applied to everyone under that umbrella, to apply negative circumstances such as a lack of home training and discipline to everyone in the younger generation is extremely short-sighted and narrow-minded. As the world around us becomes more and more streamlined, it’s more important than ever for kids to have a good foundation at home. It is absolutely NOT enough for a parent to simply bark orders I think that if anything, my generation’s lack of individuality is inspired by the generations before them, and I believe it to be imperative to teach children not to simply take orders, but to teach them what it means to be a human being beyond what is “expected” of them and what makes money.
This was Lens of The People, a column dedicated to giving the Houston community a voice and a platform. Stay on the lookout for more, all made possible by The Forward Times!