sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters

Millennialism: not just for millennials

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2010 at 8:14 am

We have a tradition in this country of dividing things up by age. We go to school by age unless we’re Montessori or home schooled, we shape our lives by where we’re supposed to be, we do things in order…

or we used to. Word on the street is that the millennial generation–those born 1978ish through 1998 and just now coming to power–isn’t waiting. I think I’m more of a millennial than a GenXer–I’m not cynical enough and far too values-driven to fit with my generational siblings, and I’m within statistical margins. So they–we–are looking for work that’s flexible and fulfilling but with clear structure and expectations; we have recognized that leadership and innovation are present in anyone, regardless of age; we don’t live in a reality that works well by paying dues and waiting our turn, so we prefer circles to lines. We like to have input and be taken seriously–now. We believe in innovation, multitasking, internet, and chosen family.

But what’s interesting is that a lot of the self-help, fix-your-life materials out there right now are encouraging members of other, older generations to take the same approach. Find your values, align them with your life right now. Don’t wait for retirement. Don’t give up. See diversity as a source of power. Celebrate life. Think positive.

Maybe one of the rules being rewritten is about how we approach the world. Maybe even generational lines were made to be blurred. After all, I know at least one Millennial who could pass for an Xer. Maybe we choose who we are after all. How do you choose? How do you know what you’re choosing?

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