Personally, I’m a bit of a change junkie. I always want to re-tool everything. I’m always looking for the next amazing thing, the innovation, the breakthrough.
I’m also always fighting with the old guard – the people who think that history and experience are paramount.
When it comes to doing good, I get very frustrated with these people. I feel like they take too long, like they drag their feet while opportunity passes us by. Why wait when we could be doing good better right now?
Of course, we’re both right. Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it, right? Rushing into things can lead to a lot of pain.
I know that patience is something I need to keep working on, but I do sometimes wonder if our current society is skewed a little too much against change; simply because of demographics.
The baby boomer generation are a bigger group than any other, and have been all their lives. They’re used to the workplace and the marketplace adjusting to accommodate them.
And now, they’re middle aged. They’re becoming set in their ways. They think things were better in the old days. They don’t like to have their authority challenged. They often see the younger generations as disrespectful, lazy, etc. I’m generalizing, of course, but these are pretty common attitudes among middle aged people throughout history, aren’t they?
When the younger generations outnumber them, it’s not really a problem. The young folk come along with new ideas, the older folks resist, the young folk’s naive enthusiasm is tempered by a bit of a struggle, and eventually the older folk adapt or step aside. What we end up with is change and new ideas, but with a healthy dose of historical perspective. Ideal.
But what happens to efforts for change when the older folks are more numerous, living and working longer than ever before, and accustomed to living in a world that constantly customizes itself to suit their generation?