When was the last time someone told you how important you are? It’s probably been a while.
Now, this is not some feel good positive spin piece.
In our 50 plus years, most of us have experienced the joys of renown and success as well as disappointment and failure. We have encountered the unexpected, adjusted our game plan accordingly and moved on.
What I’m saying is we have learned from experience.
We have survived triumphs and turndowns. And, we’re still in the fight. We don’t give up. We go to our corner. Nowadays, we need more than a minute to prepare for the next round, but with the sounding of the bell, we’re ready to do battle.
That’s who we are and how we get through life these days. It’s not heroic and it’s certainly not romantic. It’s our reality.
However, it is a differing scenario for today’s younger generations.
They lead their lives with preconceived notions that clash with harsh reality. Of their own volition, they choose to cocoon.
To some extent, we all do this. Most of us aged 50 Plus, do it to heal our wounds, take a momentary break and then get back into action. They don’t. For the most part, they lead a monastic existence.
Now the younger demographic have minds with sponge-like abilities that absorb so much more than we can marshal today. And, they pride themselves in what they think they know. But, they don’t know what they don’t know and lack real life experience.
Aah, the conceit of innocence.
What’s worse is they buy totally into the snark factor. Now, growing up, most of us to some degree, would have been placed under the classification of smart ass.
The difference being we were taught life’s lessons, sometimes the hard way, but we learned.
The 18-49 Adult truly believes no one knows more than they do. That’s a given. It’s part of growing up. But, in our younger years, there were outside influences that steered us back on track, more so than the 18-49 Adult of today.
We did not suffer the consequence of self-imposed isolation precipitated by the confining influence of the web and social media.
So many in the younger generation, how can I say this properly, don’t get out much anymore. Their real life human connections are select and few. They are in front of a screen for hours on end. Their lives are more virtual than real.
They are influenced more by anonymous sources. Anonymity becomes the petri-dish for chaos, disinformation and confusion.. What’s troubling is there is no accountability construct whatsoever.
So what takes shape is a non-judgmental view on almost everything. It metastasizes to such a degree that right and wrong become irrelevant. There is no challenge to prevailing convictions and no place for critical thought.
They lack our socialization skills. They descend into a subsistence based on their belief system formed by their web selections. Compared to us, they deal so much more exclusively with like minded peers and dwell in their online universe.
Sure, we all prefer the company of like-minded individuals. That’s natural. But, the 18-49 Adult restricts diversity of thought that creates a constricting and self-indulgent environment; all the while totally believing that they are the sole proprietor of the open mind
However, being 50 Plus, we reject this atmosphere of exclusivity.
Unfortunately for the younger on line generations, being that insulated, they truly believe they are stars in their own world. And, unfortunately they really are. They watch the so called “reality shows.” Online, they read vicariously about the outrageous behavior of today’s “headliners” to which they aspire to emulate.
As a result of excluding differing opinions, they believe they have license to mirror behaviors they see, hear and and read about and position themselves as stars in their own illusory sphere.
Welcome to the new Show Business!
Think I’m wrong. Take a look at reality show contestants; especially the rejects. Most of these “wannabees” are absolutely certain they are worthy of superstar recognition. They lack portfolio, but why quibble about the small stuff. Right?
Speak to business owners that need help but find themselves in a pool of younger applicants so displaced from reality. It’s not about the customer, it’s all about them. And, this is especially true even in this faltering economy.
Now don’t get me wrong, while growing up, we all had illusions of fame and untold fortunes and most of us over 50, still hold out some lingering but dim hope, though tempered by time and experience.
Today’s younger generations immerse themselves in illusion. What’s more troubling is they reject resources to extricate themselves from self-delusion. You see, this is their universe, constructed with little regard nor tolerance for responsibility while dismissing contrary influences beyond their self-crafted orthodoxy.
They are their own judge, jury and executioner. This mind-set is based on entitlement and indulgence.
Now, this is not a piece about how much better we are compared to younger generations.
However, I do believe we are better off than younger generations. I feel sorry for them. It’s always rough looking back on all the mistakes we have made in life. For me personally, it’s sometimes cringe-worthy.
Here is what I believe are the strengths of being over the age of 50::
1). I believe we learn and have learned from parents, teachers, mentors and forces that didn’t always share our “enlightened” points of view. They made it abundantly clear we didn’t know what the hell we were talking about.
2). I believe we don’t see ourselves as masters of the universe but more as stewards of our own realm. We are responsible and held accountable for our actions that affect us and those who rely on us.
3). I believe at our age we have better Social skills than younger generations, and that serves us well. We are so much more open to change than those aged 18-49. Sure, we have strong core beliefs, but have learned that we are not always correct and sometimes need to make mid-course corrections. We are Social and more flexible because we deal with living and breathing humans every day. Our relationships are real, not virtual nor anonymous.
4). I believe life has taught us how to deal with others, even those whose opinions are dissimilar from ours. We evaluate differing views. We might not agree or accept them but our inner filters do not preclude the option of diversity.
5). I believe we don’t Interface as much as we do Face to Face. Living in an online universe that promotes anonymity creates a world of irresponsibility and a false sense of entitlement. There is no accountability. Interface is a fertile breeding ground for an abundance of snark.
We do Face to Face. Now we might not be as web proficient as younger demos but we know BS when we hear it and can smell it a mile away.
6). I believe life has shown us there is very little quarter for false and unearned Entitlement. It’s all part of dues paying. More importantly, we know that Entitlement should be employed with prudence and discretion. If you’ve got it, no need to flaunt it.
7). I believe we know what is needed to get the job done right, the first time. We have experience servicing customers and dealing with the public. We know how to serve instead of being served.
8). I believe we are not exclusive. We are inclusive. More importantly, we are exceptional. Why? Because we have value and respect values..
9). I believe we have compassion. We have life experiences. Life can be one hell of a task master. Let’s face it, at one time or another, we have all been village idiots.
We have done well and been kicked around a bit by the fates. We are amused and annoyed by the 18-49 Adults behavior. We recognize that in our own way, we have been there and don’t that.
What’s different from previous generations is the total lack of opposing criticism. It’s spiked and filtered out of their equation. That’s very troubling.
Hopefully when all is said and done, we’ll be there to comfort and guide the 18-49 Adults when…………….and if…….they ever come out of the ether,
That’s the power and value of being 50 Plus.
So, for God’s sake, stop underestimating the power and value of you.
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