Talkin’ ’bout my generation…

I happened upon this post today. Somebody out there, probably a lot younger than me, is not happy with the quality of conversation and particularly the lack of conviction in everyday language that is gaining a foothold in our culture.

“Even in classes, I often feel sorry for the professor standing at the front of the room. Students don’t want to speak, don’t want to engage in their education. They don’t want to “be wrong” in front of the class or appear to be a “teacher’s pet.” How old are we, again?”

A great post with a very classy video to enjoy too.

Education, like credit, is too available and therefore under appreciated. Who wants compulsory education?

Another interesting post here in response to Jon Stewart’s rally in which the claim is made that generation X’ers and Y’ers biggest social faux pas is to be seen as taking oneself too seriously. Now, I am not in a position to know how true most of these claims are, but I have noticed that to my fifty-something eyes, younger people strike me as somewhat more homogenized than my peers were as teens and twenty somethings. Perhaps it is to be expected as the world at large becomes more homogenized. We now live in a world where Mickey D’s is found at the farthest reaches of the world and more and more Americans are losing their regional speak.

I suppose my friends and I mimicked each other as much as any other generation, but the advantage we had back then was a lack of technology. We may have been the last generation to live in neighborhoods and towns and cities that still had local store ownership. We weren’t bombarded by tv commercials showing us the latest styles and filling our heads with want and envy. For example, when the girls decided to wear blue jeans, there wasn’t anyone marketing them specifically to us. The fad started “on the street.” Granted, it did not take very long for the marketeers to turn their eyes and marketing schemes our way. What surprised me then and still does now is that people seem to respond to fads, myself included. Desire is relentless.

So, the question I have is do we lack conviction now any more than we did 50, 75 or 100 years ago?

I am reminded of a moment in a high school classroom when a substitute teacher went out of her way to applaud me on a paper I had written. She complimented me on the writing style I had in which I used non-committed, feminine (her description not mine) language. Sounding non-committal is sometimes appropriate, and for many years I know I lacked conviction, but for better and sometimes for worse that is no longer the case.

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