A Generation of Paradox
September 19, 2007
It seems like there are a lot of contradictions in what Gen Y wants – out of life, jobs, careers, family. The things that matter.
We want guidance but to do things our own way. We want to be safe but take risks. We want to be loyal to employers but true to ourselves. We want to have dreams but stability. We want to do it all but have free time.
Maybe this makes us a confusing lot. Some call us wishy-washy. Maybe it makes us the same as every generation who’s come before us. Some say we’re just young and we’ll change our tune soon enough, as life levels us out (or knocks us down, according to the most cynical.)
Regardless of whether it’s a new thing or not, we’re a paradoxical bunch. This reminds me of myself growing up. I was a tomboy who played in mud and caught snakes, but wanted prissy clothes with ruffles and bells. I loved shoes of all sorts but would rather go barefoot than wear them.
So, the paradox thing isn’t new to me. I’ve always characterized myself this way.
Now, I look at my life and the lives of my peers and see that the phenomenon of paradox is alive and well in all of us, in our dreams, our goals, our values. The question is, do we have impossible dreams, are our hopes too high, or is the world really about to change in ways that we are dreaming of?
And the other question is, will the world simply change around us, or does the evolution depend on our voice, that of a generation ready for change, not just for us, but for everyone?