Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Listening to the Baby Boom's Echo

It's almost a reflex for someone of a certain age to deride young people as somehow wanting in comparison to one's own, so I routinely resist my generation's tendency to bemoan my sons' Gen-Y peers as "entitled." So imagine my surprise when I found my older son nodding at the notion.

He was being too polite, I thought, when he described his childhood as cosseted. Where were the claims, I wondered, that I had caused every last neurosis he will ever have? Someone call Doktor Freud!

Yet, indeed, he laid out a very plausible scenario for peers born in the echo of the post-World War II baby boom, in the last century's last two decades. A group now come of age, beginning to pop up in the workplace, to marry, in brief, to launch adult lives, they pose to the boomer a number of questions.

Their aesthetics are decidedly different. Melody went out with hip-hop and only now returns with the tantalizing alternative genre. They claim to be more techie, but deep down, matched up with someone reasonably geeky of an older generation, a lot of it  can be blown off as just froth.

But what about the entitlement thing?

"They had so much as children that they expected life to keep giving them everything when they grew up," said my son, as I recall his words.

Really? Life will take care of that.
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