People tend to over analyze each generation which
stems from serious misunderstanding and no offence, a lot of this criticism is counter productive and stems from self insecurities.
David Foster Wallace called the Baby Boomers “probably the single most self-absorbed generation since Louis XIV.”
Now, I think everyone is obsessively analyzing and negatively perceiving Peter Pan Generation.
We are all the products of our upbringings, the values, strengths and gifts that we choose to develop and of the world events and technologies that each generation experiences in their lifetime. As a Boomer, I remember being called the “me” generation and the adults of the time shaking their heads and wondering what would become of these “hippies” and “feminists” etc. We have heard the same complaints made of Gen X and Gen Y and now the
Peter Pans are are free-spirited, they do what they love, they dare to dream and they are born and raised at a time where anything is easily accessible to them. They are well aware, competitive, more forgiving, more practical, less emotionally driven, innovators, creative and fit. Given the right direction, they discipline themselves in time. We need to trust them more. We need to be more open to their ideas, for what they suggest today maybe the very norm tomorrow.
The free-flow of information on the internet has truly given
Peter Pans access to information and inspiration that previous generations didn’t have, which fuels their great expectations. I think their desire for success has been misinterpreted as delusion, and an unwillingness to put in the work. Truly, it is the opposite. They are enthusiastic, passionate, and willing to do what it takes to get to their end goal. I wish that negative interactions could be attributed to the individual at fault, and not cause generalization of an entire generation.
Each generation will find their own way towards their future, there will be innovations, successes and new ways to tackle both old and new problems all of which is sure to cause delight and/or discomfort from different segments of the population. Boomers stood on the shoulders of their parents and the
Peter Pans will do the same with theirs, such is the cycle of life. The pointing fingers, the blaming past generations for their perceived failures, the disparaging of our youth has gone on forever and rarely is an accurate forecast of a generations accomplishments or failures.
What amazing things the people of the world could accomplish if we opened our hearts and minds to the different perspectives each of us has to offer and work together in creating the best the world can be. In working with people much younger or older than myself has proven to be invaluable in terms of the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience. Diversity breeds creativity and innovation, we need to be reminded of the past to allow us to envision the future. As for myself, some of the best advice I have been given has come from my great-grandmother and my Peter Pan siblings, both visionaries of their time.
I have observed this generational trait first hand and it boggles my mind when we call them Lazy, entitled, and narcissistic. However, I would say it’s an over generalized stereotype too because we can’t justifiably apply the label to ALL of them. I have met young people who are passionate, creative, energetic, and driven by the desire to love the unlovable. It’s truly inspirational.
My take on it is this: Yes, most of them are lazy and narcissistic and still live with their parents. And yes if they went to a public school, of course they are indoctrinated with an entitlement mentality… but what an opportunity it is for the rest of them!! Like lions among hoards of goats, the next generation of leaders have virtually no competition from their peers. It might produce a mindset of “unlimited potential”, which, as we all know is a recipe for extremely good things to come!
In reality I would say it just a phase like any other generation or happening thing. People need to change and those of the current generation have done that will those of the past generation may be changing too, trying to keep up or upset because they have become set in their ways. The biggest disappointment I have with any new generation is how quickly businesses are to drop the old and embrace the new without encouraging advancing the old and tying it in with the new. So much lost knowledge with each generation change. I think the biggest downside to each new generation is the way that the new generation so quickly wants to discard the knowledge of the previous and how the previous generation want to hold on to their old ideals and ways. I do feel that this new generation is at least in the IT industry bridging that gap a bit more and I hope it continues with the future generations.
Every generation’s youth cohort makes up its own language, has its signature music and social icons. History will decide how great this generation is. How can we judge
Peter Pans when they haven’t accomplished anything big yet!