What exactly is it that defines a generation? For many years, I’ve been annoyed by an older generation discussing the faults of the generation which comes behind it. When you go back to writings from the early 1900s, you’ll see generations complaining about the “kids these days” in pretty much the same language that the curmudgeons of today would use. I find this type of complaining to be ridiculous and a major waste of time.

My college friend, Forrest, once commented that the song One Week, defined our generation pretty much perfectly:
It’s been one week since you looked at me
Cocked your head to the side
and said I’m angry
Five days since you laughed at me saying
Get that together come back and see me
Three days since the living room,
I realized it’s all my fault, but couldn’t tell you
Yesterday you’d forgiven me
But it’ll still be two days till I say I’m sorry
I couldn’t then, and still can’t now, argue the point. That summed us up in college perfectly, but it was only in college when it did. But it wasn’t just our generation; it was all generations of college students.

Sure, the specific issues change from year to year and generation to generation, but the fact is, college students always find a cause to which many of them attach to. Many of us even carry those causes on to later in our lives. My generation has been no different in how it behaves than was the generations before or the ones that will come after.

Yes, the individual behaviors may look abhorrent to the prior generation, but that’s only because the specifics differ and they’re not “what we would have done” without realizing that the generation prior to ours said the exact same thing about us. The hippies of the 60s were just as horrified by the yuppies of the 80s as the builders of the 40s were about the hippies.