Most people typically enjoy this time of year. Children getting excited for the summer. Time for playing, swimming, sleeping in, and most importantly – no school. The weather is warming up and more and more people are outside enjoying the fresh air. Some are even taking their leisure time to the lake or on vacation. However, something weird seemed to hit me a little differently this year. I started noticing that people I know are starting to retire. Teachers are retiring. Counselors are retiring. Business owners are contemplating retirement. Things are changing.
We are on the verge of a climate change. Generation X is on the cusp of being the leaders of the working world. They will be the ones making the decisions for major corporations. They will be the ones deciding on the next direction of the education of our children. They will lead us in continued growth and exploration of electronic media. And we will depend on them to help cure the illnesses of the world.
Are we ready for this change? I remember lyrics from a song as a child that said “every generation blames the one before”. Is it possible for Generation X to change the pattern? What will be the legacy of a generation that grew up with parachute pants, MTV, roller skating, and big hair? The generation that truly are the last ones who knew what it meant to spend countless hours outside during the summer instead of inside “because it’s too hot”.
Our world is changing rapidly. At times things seem to move faster than we are able to keep up. We are motivated by what we can have now. Generation X’s task will be to provide the world with whatever they want at the push of a button. They will also be called to keep peace among people that appear to be increasingly less tolerant of patience and hard work. No easy task for any generation.
One of the greatest tasks that I believe faces Generation X as they inherit the leadership of the world is to figure out how to maintain the family unit as a integral part of our society. As our opinions and understanding of what the family unit can look like changes, so does the challenges we face with finding a way to keep the family healthy in the face of ongoing adversity. Sure, we have always had challenges to the family unit, but as our world continues to evolve the challenges will be more difficult than any time previous.
Generation X will have their work cut out for them. But I’m sure they will be up for the challenge. This is the group of kids who used sticks as guns. They used “ghost runners” on base when there wasn’t enough people playing kickball. And they used aluminum foil to get channels on their TV so they could watch cartoons. They will meet the challenge. But the question remains, what will be their legacy?