Self-entitled, yes. In denial, no.
A ruffling of some Gen Xer and Baby Boomer feathers.
I was cynical when a self-deluding book salesperson proclaimed that millennials felt entitled and that we were struggling at work because our parents gave us medals for coming last. Maybe it is because I see Gen Xers and Baby Boomers parading their titles and suit jackets around, eager to be identified as experts, eager to speak on stage, and eager to strut their experience in number of years.
While generational markers provide a context into the circumstances we are born and grow into, they do not define who we are as individuals, so my intergenerational rant will stop here. I will, however, proceed to address the absurdity of what our society seems to tolerate: self-recognition-seeking-adults-by-name-and-age-only. What are the latter trying to prove?
I can be too blunt, so if something I write touches a nerve, humor me with your humbleness. Humbleness as a character trait has become underrated; more like looked down on or stepped all over on. We have become conditioned to introduce our self in all its glory before we speak so that those on the receiving end could care enough to listen attentively and value our “expertise”; we are initiated into a social construct where a title or a professional accolade next to our name lends us credibility and respect.
The fact of the matter is, how developed our CV is has little to do with how developed we are as individuals. Unfortunately, many go through life, trapped in a race for rats, unaware that they are involving themselves in mindless pursuits that do not lend their lives meaning or purpose. They mistake accomplishment, often in the form of a prestigious seat at a particular table, for purpose, and their sense of security is so fragile that they will work very hard to make sure that whoever accompanies them on that table is endowed with comparable fluff, or can stroke theirs.
I ruffle too many feathers on a daily basis; this is how I choose to overcome my struggles at work. My immature take on the professional world is how I manage to deflect the glare from all the shining armor braced in my face. Our generation, some of us at least, is working to revive the person in every one of us. The problem is not with the medal receivers; the problem is with the medals.
Join the next Gen X, Y and Z Global Conversation. Baby Boomers are welcome.