Generations

Recently my 73 year old mother and I were having a conversation about how my husband’s workplace is treating him, when my mom said well that’s the way it’s done. To which I responded, that doesn’t mean that it’s right.  To which she remarked, you’re spoiled and I replied with a long explanation of how that isn’t true. This exchange bothered me, so being of my 50 year old mindset I started thinking about what caused this gap in our take on the same scenario . Now , my mother comes from WW II era Germany and tends to accept things without question more often than my generation does. One of the famous sayings of her day was, you can’t fight city hall. This generation just took an answer at face value and got on with the business of survival, but they raised kids who grew up without the constant threat of a violent end around every corner.  The sense of safety we enjoyed due to a wonderful upbringing in a better world,  bred boredom that spurred questions about how and why the world works the way it does.  I was born in 1965 in western Canada, in the middle of huge social changes. My generation thought, if you don’t like it,  change it. We had the privilege of teen angst combined with a belief that we could do anything. We were the first generation who believed this as a fact.  So,when faced with an answer we didn’t like,  we searched for other ways to achieve or defeat the issue. This is a big part of why we’ve enjoyed so much social change over the past 50 years. Marry this with technological leaps and you get a generation of millenials who think they are entitled to get whatever they want by simply asking. Because the parents of my generation fed these kids on how special and perfect they are we get kids who don’t know that they must fight for change.  It’s understandable that parents want better for their children. It’s unfortunate that when parents reach this goal, they don’t understand why their kids seem spoiled. So, Mom if I seem spoiled to you, it’s due to how much better the world is because of you and your generation making it a better place. This should be a point of pride . It means that you fought long and hard to provide a more peaceful life with greater opportunities. So thank you for spoiling me.

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