The Entitlement Generation, which also includes the generation Y or the Millennial generation of 1985 to 2000, is that group of people born between 1970 and 2000. Those words will be used inter-changeably throughout this post. Though there are a few technical differences between Generation Y and Millennial, they all make up the entitlement generation.. They are the children of the "Baby Boomers" which were the post World War Two babies.
It has been said of the baby boomers...[1945 to 1965 which I missed by five years]..." As a group, the baby boomers were the healthiest, and wealthiest generation to that time, and amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time." The CHILDREN of the baby boomers have grown up with a far different mentality.
It is said that that they have questions regarding a clear definition of what it means to be an adult. In one study professors at Brigham Young University found that college students are more likely today to define "adult" based on certain personal abilities and characteristics rather than more traditional "rite of passage" events such as getting married, getting a job and supporting ones' self.
Dr. Larry Nelson, one of the three Marriage, Family, and Human Development professors to perform the study, noted that some Millennials are delaying the transition from childhood to adulthood as a response to mistakes made by their parents. "In prior generations, you get married and you start a career and you do that immediately.
What young people today say is that all that did was lead to divorces and to people being unhappy with their careers. The majority of the entitlement generation want to get married--they just want to do it right the first time, the same thing with their careers."
This is a noble desire and I wish them well. But there is a problem. There is a reason the Entitlement Generation is sometimes called the "Trophy Generation", or "Trophy Kids." That is a term that reflects the trend in competitive sports, as well as many other aspects of life, where "no one loses" and everyone gets a "Thanks for Participating" trophy and symbolizing a perceived sense of entitlement by every single person.
It has been reported that this is an issue in corporate environments. Some employers are concerned that Millennials have too many great expectations from the workplace and desire to completely shape their jobs to fit their lives rather than adapt their lives to the workplace.
I KNOW this shape to fit me thinking doesn't work in a marriage and though this generation may want to "do it right the first time," they will find that it takes hard work and self sacrifice to make a true marriage that's lasting and THAT doesn't come with a "me first" attitude.
But this entitlement generation has now found itself with a mentality that is best expressed in a nursery song that says...
No one looks the way I do.
I have noticed that it's true.
No one walks the way I walk.
No one talks the way I talk.
No one plays the way I play.
No one says the things I say.
I am special.
I am me..
Today many parents and psychologists wonder if songs like that were not big mistakes.
In the 1970s and 80s world of child rearing, the catchword was "self-esteem." A group called the Aspen Education Group which is recognized nationwide as a leading provider of education programs for struggling or underachieving young people, said this..."Unconditional love and being valued "just because you're you!" was the prevailing philosophy. In practice, it involved constantly praising children, not criticizing them under any circumstances, emphasizing feelings, and not recognizing one child's achievements as superior to an other's. At the end of a season, every player "won" a trophy. Instead of just one "student of the month," schools named dozens. Teachers inflated grades from kindergarten through college: "C" became the new "F." No one ever had to repeat a grade because staying behind caused poor self-esteem."
This gave rise to an "I deserve the very best" mentality whether the thing deserved was an education, allowance, car, computer, PlayStation or just gifts at Christmas in general. So a "me" generation developed with a mentality that thinks "I want it now because I deserve it as much as anyone" to every ones' seeming surprise. Duh!!!
Some of what is said above is, I believe, a legitimate thought process but it is based on something far different than a "Just because I'm me." mentality.
In fact, I believe as a Christian I AM to view myself as something special. But "Why" is the real question to be answered and is in scripture. The reason we will find there will produce people with a mindset that is 180 degrees from the "Me" generation. We'll look at this next time.