Thursday, October 23, 2008

Taking it back

So much has been written about how my generation is a totally apathetic, disconnected, anti-community, non- volunteering, selfish, underachieving group of irresponsible and untrustworthy people. We’re the X’ers after all. We’re slighted, angry whiners. We have big dreams but no staying power with our follow through.

But I think we have been adults long enough to re-write our generational reputation. And here is why I think so.

The powers that be talk down to us, exploit our vote and ignore our presence at the political table. That is, until they can no longer claim that we are ignorant and useless. As our collective voice has started rising to the surface, we are in fact quite knowledgeable, and we’re also willing to put some skin into the process. Here’s a truth that seems to be coming into the light though... we will not play by the rules of the status quo. We want change.

I’m a woman, so I can only speak from that perspective, but I have re-written how I am supposed to tend to my career and tend to my family. I chose the non-profit sector out of college and when it was time to have my second child, I went against the grain and I quit my job, under protest that I was taking the “easy way out”. Right, because being at home with little ones, day in and day out is just so “easy”. And when I am finished with the season of shaping little hearts and minds, I will return to the work force, more prepared and frankly more valuable to whomever I choose to work for.

I do not think it is any coincidence that parenting trends are changing right now. An intuitive, attachment oriented parenting style is once again getting the respect it is owed. We know what it is like to be a child in a disconnected generation and we do now want that for our kids. Period. Co-sleeping is talked about in the open. Parents are carrying babes and toddlers in arms and carriers more often and the stigma is lifting.

Okay so now that I’ve made such assertions in grand wide sweeping stroke, let me back that up by also stating this: We are still most definitely finding our way. We have the very same polarization that the rest of our country struggles with, but it does look different. It really does. Our way of doing things definitely have a messy essence to it. But one of the best things about mess is that it alerts us to the reality that things need tending to. Our generation’s finger print on society needs to be taken seriously. It needs to be respected. And it is not going away... no matter how much our image and reputation is smeared.

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