October 15, 2012 by thecuriousaquarius
I think this quote is powerful because it connects so deeply with current 20-somethings. My father and I
sometimes always talk about the differences in generations. He is constantly trying to battle with the idea that current 20-30 year old’s would rather have more free time than make more money. As an owner of his CPA firm, he truly cannot comprehend this way of thinking.
I’m not saying he doesn’t have a respect for my generation, he certainly does. But I think the number of idealist individuals is off-putting to him and possibly even intimidating. When we have these conversations he’s thinking not only about the future of his firm, but the world at large and the direction we’re going in because of “Generation Me.”
And that same concept is exactly what excites me. I think that today, the younger generation is fueled by what excites them and by what inspires them. We are more than willing to live with less money and less materialistic items, less travel opportunities, and having to rent an apartment (or move back home with mom and dad) as opposed to the former generation who wanted the opposite.
When my parents got married, renting was frowned upon. Today, I think it’d be hard for me to find a couple, 25-years-old that are 1. married but 2. looking into buying a home. Mortgages and extra work like mowing the lawn and gardening on Sunday afternoons is not where our heads are right now (or maybe that’s just me?)
I see more and more 20-somethings wanting to do work that promotes positive change and helps not necessarily their bank accounts, but others in the community and around the world. I think the most brilliant part about this change is that we got this idea to promote positive change from somewhere.
Was it that I saw my father working 80 weeks during tax season that turned me off to the business world? Is it that I don’t want to sacrifice as he did, logging long hours at the office in Philadelphia and coming home only to eat dinner at 8 pm, watch some mindless TV and then do it all over again the next day? Or is it just that my parents value system took a different turn in my mind?
Perhaps I took their values of community service, helping a neighbor, donating clothes to Salvation Army, and putting family first to a new level. Perhaps my entire generation did. Maybe I saw the kind of individuals my parents were and I not only wanted to lend a helping hand once in a while, but each and every single day.
Maybe it’s all of these reasons. Maybe it’s none of them. I’ll never know where that fire comes from to help others. But what I do know is that it’s not just me going out into the world and joining things like AmeriCorps and volunteering my time. It’s my entire generation. And for that, I can say I’m proud to be a 20-something right now.