On my day off last week, I was doing some pondering for myself. Its OK, it only hurt for a second or two.
It all started when I saw a sign that read ‘change the world’. It got me to going down the thinking path I get on sometimes. What needs to be changed and why? That got me into thinking about different generations.
Millennials were born 1977 to 1995, Generation X’ers from 1965 to 1976, Baby Boomers 1946 to 1964 and Traditionalists are 1945 and before. Being born in 1962, I’m on the cusp of a Baby Boomer but for the sake of things here I fit more in the Generation Xers.
It seems that my fellow Gen Xer’s and I are caught tediously in the middle, sandwiched between 2 stubborn generations. Millennials, proud of their fresh and young views, want to ‘change the world’, buy an IKEA futon yearly to match their current cause and pay it out over a year on a card. On the other side of us are the Traditionalists generation who are proud of their time on this Earth, and the skill that they earned surviving the Depression and World Wars. Traditionalists don’t want any changes to the world or any changes to their living room suit that was bought in 1967, paid cash for and still work just fine.
(Yes, said the man who has a 33 year old truck that still runs in his garage, shirts from high school and a cactus that is still living that a sweet old next door gray haired lady gave him back in 1972.)
My generation has been inadvertently placed in charge of a lot of feelings to have to guard. In our TV dinner childhoods, *Sesame Street never informed us that these people would be part of the people in our neighborhood.
Maybe these similar but opposing and stubborn viewpoints in generations explain a lot about this need to ‘change’ the world.
An example of what I’m talking about is seen in religion. The pressure of these compromises maybe why so many people have left traditional denominational churches and started their OWN churches.
These non-denomination churches offer something for everyone. A place filled with fun, games, trips, gift cards and endless cupcakes where the doctrine just operates only on the Big 10. You can wear a tux or jeans, not cover your tattoos and sing Shall We Gather at the River in Spanish accompanied by bongos. With that rendition both the Traditionalists and Millennials are happy and feel valued. This article explains it very well, a Millenial’s view on churches today. http://faithit.com/12-reasons-millennials-over-church-sam-eaton/
Like it or not, it’s not 1965, gas isn’t 31 cents a gallon and many people don’t go to church because they ‘love Jesus’. They go to socialize and be entertained and many times ‘loving Jesus’ is a secondary gain. It simply is what it is and to deny this is to deny any progress and bite our Christian noses off to spite our Christian faces.
Non denominational churches are a safe and non-threatening place for many people. They are a worship place of compromise.
Don’t get me wrong, I like non-denominational churches myself.
What’s not to like about getting you some Jesus with your friends in an abandoned office space somewhere, wearing jeans, a t-shirt and having Starbucks and donuts while singing, clapping and accompanied by a harpsichord and a tambourine on Sunday?
But non-denominational churches perhaps sprang up in efforts to make sure everyone got their participation trophy, nobody felt left out and all were accepted.
All of that said, sometimes this sandwich middle is absolutely a special place to be. We get the benefit of the old eyes that can tell us when air feels like a bad storm is heading this way or tell about when they were a bombardier in WW2. And when we look at their hands we see the wrinkles to prove that they have worn many a storm. Deep wrinkles does give them the right to their opinions and the right to be offended because wrinkles prove.
And on the other side are these cats that are jumping to take over, to make changes. The Millennials are trying so hard to convince us to see through their young eyes that are filled with hopes and dreams of equality and harmony. And they can only be applauded for that optimism. These beautiful young peoples, these Post-Modern Hippies, are formidable on many levels that we may not appreciate them for just yet. Personally, I appreciate their passion. I may not always agree with their desire but they are head-on bent to make a point, some point, out of their young lives. Their fresh, hydrated and supple hands are without wrinkles yet.
And then there is this ubiquitous man bun. I am unashamedly envious of the outstanding man buns that these millennial guys are sporting nowadays.
Those that poo a good man bun need to take the clear plastic covers off of their gold and green living room suite.
I want a man bun. But a man bun on me today would come out looking like some deranged Yul Brenner.
However, I am the 50 year old that had a peace sign tattoo drilled into his leg for his 50th.
So, in my pontifications about these pressures we Gen Xers live in, and these needs to change the world, it would appear that these are the reasons that cruise boats are filled today.
These big and beautiful floating cities filled with a lot of us Gen Xers stress eating in our expandable cargo pants at the buffets.
We are the generation from the Big 80’s who are adept at inefficient coping mechanisms such as over eating and drinking and sailing away, with SPF 867 lathered on, into the Mexican and Caribbean sunset escapes.
We’re all just trying to cope with being the meat in the sandwich middle.
We Gen Xers are ‘meatiators’;
We bring compromise between these two amazing generations on either side of us.
That’s the best I can tell.
*Special thanks to my buddy Steve for correcting my childhood TV references.