“Those punk kids will never understand what it’s like to have responsibility. When I was their age I already had a full-time job.”
“Those old people are such tightwads. I’m glad our generation is a lot more generous.”
“Look at those parents, their kids are such brats. Our parents would never have let me go on like that in public.”
And on and on the comments go. Where it stops, nobody knows.
What we do know for a fact is that every subsequent generation has a problem with the previous generation and every previous generation has a problem with the subsequent generation.
Unfortunately, we have a generational war always brewing. It has been the case from the dawning of time. Heads butt against one another over generational differences and suddenly we are at war with one another.
The idea that one generation is better than another generation becomes the banner every generation waves in support of who they think they really are and who they think the other generations really are.
When in reality…EVERY SINGLE GENERATION HAS A PROBLEM.
Not one is exempt. They all have their major and minor flaws.
They all have created monsters of some sort.
No one is innocent in this war. There are casualties from all sides.
The reality is…one generation is not better than another generation. Each generation has their own set of problems that each generation needs to learn to recognize and address if they ever expect to move forward in peace with one another.
Let’s work backward through the last 4 generations and pinpoint some glaring issues or traits that each one has, shall we? And please also note that not everything about each generation is necessarily bad…it’s just part of who they are or what they experienced.
Here we go:
- Centennials (1996 to present): Extremely sensitive, socially awkward, entitled, lacking common life-skills, becoming more and more religiously disconnected, watched same sex marriage become legalized, fairly hostile toward religiously motivated principles, and absolutely confused on almost all social and religious issues.
- Millennials (1977 to 1995): Overly sensitive, beginning to become entitled, helicopter parents, first real generation to be raised by the government/public schools/daycares, atheism became the norm with them, really skewed views of love and sex, and terrorism became a reality in America (lived through 9/11/2001). <– This is MY generation.
- Baby Boomers (1946-1964): Hippies, free love, drugs, no boundaries, everything goes, despises authority, experienced the Jesus Movement, experienced the civil rights movement, watched abortion become legalized, and experienced Vietnam and the social and political unrest that came with it.
- Silent Generation (1945 and before): very legalistic, lived through the depression and World War II, very tight with money, saw the birth of real progressivism in American politics, deeply religious, racism was commonplace, and segregation was commonplace.
NOTE: This also isn’t an exhaustive list. Just pinpointing major traits and issues.
So as you can see from this very limited list that every generation had major impacting moments and have serious issues that are deeply rooted in their psyche and form who they are as a whole. Not everyone will look like this, but as a whole, this is what they look like.
Hopefully, you can also see that not one generation is not necessarily better or worse than another. They simply have different defining issues and historical moments. Major flaws and minor flaws. Pros and cons.
But here is the real kicker to any astute observer…each generations problems usually stem from a reaction and in some cases an over-reaction to what they see as the previous generations major flaws.
- The Silent Generation was pretty racist as a whole (let’s just be honest here), fairly tight with money (due to depression), and quite legalistic in the social and religious realm. The Boomers over-reacted to their parents and became loose with everything because they thought their parents were too legalistic. From sex to drugs, faith, and even to parenting. The Civil Rights movement came about because they saw the racism in their parents and grandparents, they became exorbitant and materialistic because they didn’t like how tight their parents were with money, liberalism crept in almost unchallenged, and on and on.
- Because of the behavior and actions of the Boomers, the Millennial generation became helicopter parents (overly protective of their kids because their parents were almost too loose), moved further away from faith and religion because they saw their parents might wear the Christian label but not live like it or mean it, they really began to redefine love because if we are honest – the Boomers really confused things in this department, and on and on.
That’s just 3 generations!
I’m sure I could dissect it further, but I think you get the picture.
Unfortunately, instead of recognizing each generations pros and cons and striving to work toward addressing the major issues and flaws in each one, each generation pits itself against another generation and in pride declares their generation to be the better generation.
When in reality, we are all humans with major problems, corrupted by sin, and the only solution will be a generation that loves and obeys God and finds their freedoms and truths in the person of Christ and in the pages of the Word of God. Because when they love and obey God these flaws, problems, sins…became strangely obvious and the work of the Holy Spirit begins to flush these things out in each of us.
Otherwise, we’ll just continue Infinitum with these generational wars, blaming each other for our current woes, with nothing to show for it except wider chasms of division and glaring issues going unresolved.
Here’s to praying for true repentance and awakening in this nation from the oldest to the youngest.