Monday, August 14, 2006


At the same conference where I met this guy I also took a class on generations. I hadn't done much study on this issue before although I had noticed that I rarely had trouble with the WWII generation, but instead their sons and daughters would give me grief.

The class really affirmed some of the things I had seen in the varying generations. The silent generation is the one following the Greatest Generation. They are big on things not changing and not giving to the church either. They brought their kids to church, but once they graduated these folks are not necessarily involved any more. Getting them excited about a project - especially a stewardship project - is like pulling teeth.

Then come the Boomers and then come the Gen-Xers and then we have the Millenials.

Here is why this is important. According to this theory, every fourth generation is a hero generation. In the past that has meant that generation went to war. The WWII generation was the last hero generation.

According to this theory the children born in the 80's and 90's and I even stretch it into the 00's are the next hero generation. Hard to believe that when my son just spent 30 minutes screaming at the top of his lungs because we ran out of Cheerios (he's 18 months).
However, if I allow myself to hope, I can see glimmers of why these kids just may be heros.

These are kids raised in a shrinking world where with just a few keyboard strokes you can become friends with someone on the other side of the world. These are kids growing up when even the most conservative are starting to recognize that there just might be something to that whole global warming theory. These are kids being raised with instant access to the news of wars and images of innocent people fleeing rather than it being an evening news event, which somehow seemed to make it special and heroic.

Where I find the most hope is as I spin around the blogging community and realize that a lot of children right now are being raise by women who are confident in who they are and genuine about who they want their children to be.

This generation is being raised in a world that has definitely gone wrong in a lot of places and hopefully they will see and they will learn and they will become the next Great Generation.

We can only hope.


juniper68 said...

thanks so much for this hopeful post! I've been feeling just so discouraged about everything lately and this is a great reminder that maybe it's not all that bleak.

Let's pray they dont have to go to war to prove their heroism - I wouldnt want that kind of generational legacy for your son, or for mine.

Teri said...

I spent a long time with that link--it amused me for hours!

I was hoping that maybe I would be part of this next great generation, but it looks like I'm two years too old. Too bad I don't feel much like GenX either. I read somewhere that GenY is a little bit of a bridge--breaking new ground while pulling from the previous generation--and that it only covers people born 78-82. That sounds about right for me and my friends. Unlike those crazy "millies" and their absolute rebellion against the generation they most DON'T want to be like--X. hm...

I'm sad that I'm not a hero. But that's okay--i'll probably live. ;-) These newbies, though...oh man, they're gonna be great. Will Too. :-)

will smama said...

Juniper, I think in order to be great they must accomplish things without war... I think you can also say that in order to accomplish things it must be done without war.

Lorna said...

hoping hero does not equal warmonger. my son was born in 1990 and daughter 1992 and yeah they give me faith in this generation. (and grey hairs too!)

gavin richardson said...

i like to call them our 'change agents' for the future. as a gen-xer i've just opted to teach them and not care anymore.. or atleast that is what the generation studies tell me.

erin did a generations workshop a few weeks ago that we talked about and it was pretty interesting as they concluded that generations past were defined out by their superheros (superman, batman, etc)... not sure what that means due to the changing role of comic book superheros.. it was interesting conversation though