“Every generation is inculcated in traditions of prejudice which are encouraged as normal, natural and healthy.” ― Bryant McGill
Between the baby boomer generation and generation y, a lot of things are done differently.
Both groups grew up in very different political, social, and economic conditions. Both generations faced completely unique challenges, had dramatically different role models, and remarkably distinct cultures. With genY rising as the dominant generation, there is an undeniable sense of bias, resentment, and inequality between the two age groups. In a world constantly at odds with itself, a generational discrimination adds a new layer of complexity to our cultural landscape.
In that is world constantly at odds with itself, a generational discrimination adds a new layer of complexity to our cultural landscape.
A lack of understanding ends up translating into a lack of respect.
The boomer generation grew up in an extremely different economic climate. In some ways, it was much more manageable to balance part-time work as well as pay for one’s own education in full. The boomer generation was lucky in the sense they could march out of college with little debt, and therefore have the freedom to pursue a career and get married, buy houses, and have children at much younger ages.
On the other hand, millennials have historically had a trickier time navigating their post-grad years.
With an extreme increase in tuition prices, rent, and the unforgiving requirement of unpaid internships— gen Y is moving forward at a seemingly slower pace. Their uphill battle also contributes to the divergence in goals and values for this younger generation. Instead of staying put, many individuals in generation Y are abandoning the traditional route that the boomers have succeeded at and instead leaving the country to travel, volunteer, and explore on their own terms.
The cycle seems to repeat itself: older generations look at younger ones as being lazy or lacking good work ethic, whereas the younger generations tend to blame previous ones for the mess that they’ve made of the economy, educational systems, and workplaces. Instead of taking responsibility for their own shortcomings, it’s much easier to shift the responsibility onto others.
Both generations insist on the existence of a distinct inequality.
The internet is the biggest platform for the malice seen between the generations. Gen Y, known for their technological prowess, have created an online trend of making baby boomer memes. Although some of them are funny and mostly good natured, some of them are outright hateful.
For the sake of a fair argument, both sides of the generational spectrum have been known for making sharp-tongued remarks, with gen y being consistently labeled as “entitled”lazy” and “ungrateful.”
In this case, both parties are to blame.
If both sides could put away their judgments, they could make something incredible with their differences.
In fact, if boomers and millennials could work together using both of their strengths, a lot of problems could be solved. An article posted on 99u describes the potential for greatness if boomers could share their leadership and economic wisdom with millennials, who could, in turn, inspire the older generation with their innovative and out-of-the-box thinking. The fierce competition between the two generations could be crafted into something truly powerful- if only they could put aside their preconceived notions of one another.
Nathanial Koloc, the author of the article, makes an excellent point that boomers have “intangible wisdom that comes from decades of forming and living through relationships, projects, and experiences.” Simply, there certain things that can only be learning through trial and error, which gen-y hasn’t had the time to experience yet.
That, paired with the millennials, who Koloc says “want to see the world become a better place for themselves and their future families,” makes a team that is hard to beat.