Thursday, January 5, 2012

Generation Me

I read this really intriguing book last week.  I have to go with intriguing as the adjective because good would be somewhat of a stretch.  It was thought provoking but also anger provoking.  Even with the anger I think it is a must read because it is so very pertinent to life.

The book was called Generation Me by Dr. Twenge.  It was basically about the changes in attitude and culture between the Baby Boomers and the generation afterward.  It doesn't take a degree in psychology to see that there are some pretty major differences in the way these two groups (I think generation is too narrow, at least two generations have passed since the Boomers) think.

Some of the stuff I could really get on board with.  One of the chapters was about self esteem and how pretty much every elementary school has a program to encourage self esteem.  What they are encouraging though, is self esteem for no reason other than the fact that the kid exists.  There is no emphasis on achievements and thus no reason to try anything difficult because the kids think they are already wonderful, so why should they exert effort.  I definitely have seen this and totally agree.  I think time would be much better spent encouraging kids to learn something than to spend time just reiterating how the sun shines from their pores when they grace the world with their presence. 

Some of the stuff was ludicrous.  There was a paragraph that attributed the lower crime rate seen in the 1990s with aborted children.  It claimed that these children, had they been born, would have grown up to become criminals, but because only "wanted" children were born, the crime rate decreased.  It was pretty much the biggest jump in logic I have ever seen in print.

Despite some of the bad things, I really encourage you to pick up a copy.  It is a super fast read and some of the statistics are really enlightening.  Even if (when) you don't agree, it's nice to know that that is how a Boomer views my generation.  Frustrating as it is, since I work with a lot of Boomers I think it's a good thing to see the differences in thought just so I can try to reach some sort of common ground or better see their side of the argument.  Pick up a copy and read it!

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