In our last post, we started exploring the strength that is SIMPLICITY. Here, we continue its exploration, with a singular issue in mind.
Almost a year ago, I wrote this piece on what I call the Generational Mosaic. If you are working or living in an environment filled with multiple and seemingly diverse generations, I humbly think it worth a read. It speaks to my personal and professional and hard earned experience learning from, teaching and working with all of the noted generations over the last 30+ years.
That being said, and of late, I have been seeing posts that manifest a bit of a generational war… on Millennials in particular. The initial salvos seem to be around what is often noted as the sense of entitlement of Gen Y. I find this interesting. Consider…
I get it. The sense is that Millennials have a belief that they are entitled to enjoying their work; what they perceive to be their chosen path so to speak. In the posts and articles I have seen, you almost get a sense that this is perceived as overly idealistic. So, first let us explore the virtue of idealism… for a moment.
The key to resolving these social ills rests in the hands of a youthful generation convinced of the nobility of human beings… The Universal House of Justice
Idealism is not for the faint of heart. We have dreams. And a plan. In doing so, we have faith in the highest possible outcome. To get there, we walk our talk. We persevere. In so doing, we actually make a difference. I am a child of the 60’s. Sounds like we “suffered” from this belief too, for a time. But then, as the video references, many of us sold the dream after the deaths of JFK, MLK, Bobby Kennedy and more… after Kent State and Vietnam and Watergate.
But I digress. Still, please note that there is nothing Panacea or Utopian about idealism. Now, I invite to engage this video, lovingly and truthfully offered for courageous consideration. It is spoken and delivered with both zeal and empathy, for all.
With that in mind, this week we are exploring SIMPLICITY as a virtue; a strength of character. One application of this virtue is to get to the core of any issue… any question. Several weeks back, around the application of the virtue of unity… I noted and offered ICCCCAN as a process for collective problem solving. The first step is …
Identify the ISSUE
At its core, an issue is a question. For the sake of simplicity, a great question is essential to getting to the heart of any matter. In this case, I suggest the question is not, “Why are Millennials so seemingly entitled?”. The question is …
ENTITLED TO WHAT?
We all, every generation feels a sense of entitlement. Go back to the video. Consider it. Ask yourself “To what have I become entitled?” Ask yourself if that makes sense. Could it be that finding your best path and purpose is as equally legit as awaiting the promise of retirement? Could it be that respecting oneself and our best dreams are as equally legit as expecting respect from others.
You see… the question is not “Are we entitled?” any more than the question is “Am I an Idealist?”. The real questions are “To what should I be authentically entitled?” and “For what should I have a true sense of Idealism?”
It is about the target of our entitlement and our idealism that matters. Does it make sense to have the belief of entitlement that we each have? Should Millennials feel any less entitled to finding joy and purpose in their work than a Boomer feels in expecting retirement, as promised? Should Millennials feel any less entitled to respect themselves and their own lives and dreams than an Elder expects respect?
What if every generation has apiece of wisdom here? What if it is an alienable right to explore your passion and purpose and enjoy your work? What if it is an indisputable right to expect that our final years be some form of reward for a life’s work well done? What if is a given right and responsibility to give and receive with respect? I believe that the Millennials have something here. I believe that every generation at school, work and community has a piece of wisdom from which we all can learn.
Maybe the courage of Desiderata speaks to this, for every generation. Maybe courage and wisdom to question our personal sense of entitlement is a positive thing, in order to come up with a true sense of entitlement for all.
ALL I KNOW
All I know is that I honor the belief that we should expect our lives to be more, purposeful and passionate and now. I know that I personally honor the need to honor a good life’s work. I know that I honor the need to respect one another. And therein lies my point and my concern with the unofficial guerilla war on Millennials. I can learn from them. They can learn from us. We all can learn from one another.
WITH SIMPLICITY IN MIND
One of the best strategies I have learned and been taught over the years is that I must remain open to the wisdom of the ages… all the ages. Engage the age is simplicity in the face of the generational mosaic. Be open to learning. It is a sacred and powerful truth of leadership.
Learn baby learn.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
Another interesting post on the Millennials
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